Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay and the members of the Minority Conference today called on Gov. Hochul and state leaders to immediately call a meeting of the state Domestic Terrorism Task Force (DTTF). In a letter to Rossana Rosado, Commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services, Leader Barclay urged the DTTF to hold its overdue first meeting and begin the process of fulfilling its requirements.
The letter comes after this weekend’s tragic incident in Buffalo that left 10 individuals dead and three wounded. In April, a mass shooting on a subway in Brooklyn left 10 victims wounded when a gunman opened fire.
“The Domestic Terrorism Task Force was established in 2020, and has yet to have its first meeting. How is that explained,” asked Leader Barclay. “The mission of this task force was to study, assess and help prevent senseless acts of violence from taking place. Last month, a gunman shot 10 people in a New York City subway. Last weekend, we saw the horror that took place in Buffalo. The intent of this task force was to specifically address the violent acts we’re seeing play out in front of us. It’s a disservice and disappointing that it can’t find the time to convene.”
Established in 2020 as part of the final State Budget, the nine-member DTTF consists of the Commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services, the Superintendent of the State Police, three appointments of the governor and one appointment from each conference of the Legislature. The basic duties of the DTTF are to: study mass shooting incidents; recommend practices to identify mass shooters and prevent mass shooting incidents; and recommend practices to provide for the security of locations likely to be targeted by a mass shooter.
The task force is required to meet at least four times a year, and was supposed to issue a preliminary report in December 2021 outlining its findings, conclusions, recommendations and activities. None of those requirements have been met.
“The governor has promised a series of actions in response to the events in Buffalo. Those measures should be carefully considered. But I’d like to know where the action was up until this point? While crime rises, while more mass shootings take place, the state task force specifically designed to prevent this violence has been sitting dormant, rendered useless in Albany dysfunction. That needs to change immediately,” added Barclay.
The full letter is available here.