The Rockland County Legislature wants to criminalize interception of electronic communications to and from law enforcement officials by civilians due to claims that town officials in Clarkstown can access these emails, the Legislature announced in a press release.
A resolution that seeks to criminalize the interception of these communications was introduced to the County Legislature on Monday. This comes after County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe directed members of his department to not communicate with Clarkstown officers via email due concerns town officials have access.
A similar directive was issued by Spring Valley Police Chief Paul Modica and Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel to the officers in their respective departments.
If passed, the law would ban civilians from intercepting all forms of electronic communications by law enforcement without the prior consent of the sender. This would include emails, texts, or other messaging platforms, and the violations would be considered criminal offenses.
The resolution makes a formal request to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature to enact the law outlined in the resolution.
“The interception of these communications could compromise active investigations, prosecutions, identities, search warrants and other law enforcement actions,” said Legislator Ilan Schoenberger (D-Wesley Hills). “It could also compromise the safety of witnesses, crime victims and the public in general.”
Additional discussion on the resolution will take place during the board’s Aug. 30 Public Safety Committee meeting.
Legislators Harriet Cornell (D-West Nyack) and Aney Paul (D-Nanuet) joined Schoenberger as sponsors of the resolution.
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