Statement from NYSPIA Concerned With Significant Increase in Emergency Risk Protection Orders

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2023

The following statement is attributable to Tim Dymond, President of the New York State Police Investigators Association

New York State Police Investigators Association Concerned With Significant Increase in Emergency Risk Protection OrdersThe number of ERPOs increased from 95 in 2021 to 584 in 2022

The New York State Police Investigators Association (NYSPIA) thanks Governor Kathy Hochul for the major investment in the New York State Police (NYSP) in the recently enacted state budget. Her budget included funding to increase the number of State Police academy classes, as well as investments in technology and other resources that will make a meaningful impact on the ability of the NYSP to protect the public.

The funding comes at a crucial time. Last year, Governor Hochul expanded the law designed to confiscate guns from people who engage in conduct that would result in harm to themselves and others. This stricter gun law, commonly known as the “Red Flag law”, has created an overwhelming increase in the number of gun-related cases investigated by NYSP Investigators and Senior Investigators. It has also exponentially increased the number of court proceedings commenced by NYSP Investigators and Senior Investigators seeking court orders called “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” (ERPO) to confiscate guns from potentially dangerous people. The members of NYSPIA work diligently to ensure that each ERPO case is investigated and handled properly. However, the volume of gun cases under the amended Red Flag law has grown each year, resulting in an increased workload which puts a tremendous burden on current State Police Investigators and negatively impacts their ability to investigate other cases which are also critical to public safety. The number of Red Flag law/ERPO cases investigated by NYSPIA Members is increasing each year at an alarming rate:

·         2021:   95 Red Flag law/ERPO cases

·         2022:   584 Red Flag law/ERPO cases

·         2023:   currently (377) on pace to reach more than 1000 Red Flag law/ERPO cases by the end of the year

This sharp increase in workload is being managed by the same number of Investigators and Senior Investigators within the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). In fact, due to retirement, promotions, and transfers there are actually fewer Investigators and Senior Investigators to handle the growing workload which pulls them away from other important investigations. Since 2011, the number of Investigators and Senior Investigators within the BCI has dropped from more than 1300 to approximately 1100.

“The members of NYSPIA are asking for help,” said Tim Dymond, President of NYSPIA. “Day in and day out these men and women answer the call and handle the most heinous crimes imaginable. The spike in ERPOs has created an unmanageable workload that will undoubtedly cause other criminal investigations to suffer. We recognize the importance of ERPOs and we agree that persons whom are a threat to themselves or others should not have guns. We are also realistic in noticing when our people are overwhelmed. ERPOs are important but so are murder, rape and robbery investigations. We still need to be able to investigate local burglary rings. We still need to track down child predators and drug dealers. The additional funding from the Governor’s budget will help, but that help is minimally a half-year out. We need people to help manage the workload now. These additional Investigators would assist in handling the ever-growing volume of ERPOs and ensure that existing Investigators can continue to work on the many different types of crime that they investigate. The additional support is needed to ensure that the BCI are able to maintain the high standards the people of New York have come to expect.”