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Legislator Ben Boykin’s (D-White Plains) Correctional Facility Safety Bill Passes with Unanimous Vote

Creates New Westchester Law Prohibiting the Operation of Drones Within 1000’ of the County Jail


(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Tonight, members of the Board of Legislators passed a Local Law aimed to disable one tool used by criminals around the country before this trend came to Westchester. The Correctional Facility Safety Law passed with a unanimous Bi-Partisan vote. This law was first introduced by Legislator Ben Boykin after hearing from corrections officers of the latest method being used by inmates to get their hands on contraband. In cases around the country, someone on the outside of the facility was flying the contraband overhead with an unmanned drone and dropping it in for an inmate to retrieve.


“As access to drones increases around the country, so has instances of their use with a malicious intent,” said Legislator Ben Boykin, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety & Social Services. “In one case in Maryland, men were arrested outside of a correctional facility with drugs, a handgun, and a drone. This common sense legislation is aimed to ensure the protection of both officers and inmates. I am proud to have worked closely with Bruce Donnelly, President of the Westchester County Correction Superior Officers Association, to craft a law that will help assist our corrections officers with the important work that they do,” added Boykin.


Unmanned drones tend to fly at very low levels, generally around 400’. These levels are not within the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration.


"I appreciate Legislator Boykin, the Committee on Public Safety & Social Services, and the entire Board of Legislators for taking this issue seriously,” said Bruce Donnelly, President of the Westchester County Correction Superior Officers Association. “By passing this Legislation they have provided the Westchester County Department of Corrections with a tool to deter individuals from attempting to provide inmates behind the fences and walls with contraband or weapons. This legislation, along with the detection equipment we are installing, should help to provide a level of safety to both correction staff and inmates alike," concluded Donnelly.

 

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