Crime policies take center stage in 2024 New York state presidential election

NEW YORK CITY — As the 2024 presidential election approaches in New York state, the discourse surrounding crime prevention and criminal justice reform has become a focal point, drawing attention from candidates and voters alike.

Against a backdrop of rising concerns about public safety, the candidates from various parties are presenting their visions and strategies to address crime and reform the criminal justice system.

“In New York, the crime rate is higher than the national average by 24% and it is hard to not be afraid when you see these kinds of numbers,” said Markel Browne, a New York state corrections officer, reflecting concerns about escalating violence.

President Donald Trump, seeking reelection, stands at the forefront of the debate, advocating for a tough-on-crime agenda that emphasizes law enforcement efforts and stricter sentencing guidelines.

Trump’s platform revolves around restoring law and order, with proposals including increased police funding, expanded use of stop-and-frisk tactics, and mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses.

On the opposing side, President Joe Biden presents a contrasting approach, prioritizing criminal justice reform and community-based solutions.

His campaign targets systemic inequalities within the criminal justice system, advocating for police reform, community policing initiatives, and enhanced access to rehabilitation programs.

“Biden is failing to address correct execution towards criminal initiatives,” Browne said, reflecting skepticism about Biden’s effectiveness compared to Trump in addressing these issues.

Meanwhile, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, representing the state’s interests, presents a designed approach to addressing crime and social justice issues.

Hochul’s platform focuses on addressing the root causes of crime, including poverty, lack of access to education, and mental health challenges.

Advocating for investments in social services, diversion programs, and rehabilitation efforts, Hochul proposes alternatives to incarceration that prioritize community support and individual rehabilitation.

“More relationships can be built through security building to help prioritize the safety of the public,” said GeJuan Kee, a security guard from Brooklyn, emphasizing the importance of community engagement and proactive measures. “Hourly check-ins could go a long way.”

As the election unfolds, these diverse perspectives emphasize the complexity of addressing crime in New York state.

The candidates’ proposals hold profound implications for the future of law enforcement, social justice, and community well-being across the state.

The candidates’ divergent approaches reflect broader debates within New York state about the most effective strategies for reducing crime and promoting justice.

With crime rates fluctuating and communities grappling with complex social issues, voters are faced with critical decisions about the direction of law enforcement and criminal justice policies in the state.

“A president represents the people, and right now more than ever we need a president who cares about the safety of the general welfare,” Browne said, highlighting the pressing need for effective crime prevention measures.

Moreover, the election’s outcome is likely to be influenced by broader social and political dynamics, including ongoing debates about racial justice, police accountability, and the role of law enforcement in society.

Recent incidents of police brutality and racial injustice have sparked widespread protests and calls for reform, increasing the demands for change within the criminal justice system.

“Law enforcement, in general, has to work on rebuilding trust within the community and all injustice needs to be closely examined and considered,” said Skye Rivera, a New York state security guard.

As the 2024 New York state presidential election unfolds, the debate over crime policies and criminal justice reform continues to evolve, shaping the contours of political discourse and public policy in the state.

With competing visions and divergent approaches on the table, voters face critical decisions about the future direction of law enforcement, social justice, and community well-being.

“Our country is suffering right now with high inflation rates and crime rates, and I just hope this upcoming election makes a difference we need to see as a nation,” Rivera said.