The PBA is stepping up its public fight with the state Parole Board.
Union officials will now hand deliver letters opposing cop killers’ parole to the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision until it restores the online service to send in the letters.
“DOCCS’ Parole Board is clearly not interested in hearing from police supporters or from those who believe that cop-killers should never be paroled,” PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said in a statement Sunday. “We will not allow those voices to be silenced or ignored.”
Officials at the state Department of Corrections say it has not prevented anyone from voicing their opinion and the union is just looking for special treatment.
“The PBA’s most recent attack on the Board of Parole is disingenuous and is effectively a demand for exclusive access to the Board that is not otherwise provided to any other New Yorker,” said spokesman Thomas Mailey. “While an e-mail address was made temporarily available for PBA submissions to the Board, that exclusive avenue was discontinued five years ago.”
The discontinued program, “Keep Cop-Killers in Jail,” was established in 2012 as a way for New Yorkers to object to the paroling of someone convicted of murdering police through the PBA’s online tool, which would send a letter to the panel ruling on the person’s release.
It was only recently realized by the union that function was shut down after two years, without notice. The PBA says as many as 200,000 letters never made it to the commissioners. In 2018, the union recorded nearly 50,000 letters in protest.
Lynch sent a letter to the DOCCS chairwoman, Tina Stanford, on March 1 demanding the electronic service be restored and has yet to hear back.
“The Board always has – and continues to – accept letters that are electronically submitted through the Department website or submitted by mail,” Mailey said.