Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Police, in partnership with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and the New York State Division of Human Rights, will host a series of four hate crime investigation training seminars for law enforcement agencies across the state. The first seminar is today in Manhattan and more than 140 members of law enforcement have registered for this session.

“New York has absolutely zero tolerance for any form of bias or discrimination,” Governor Cuomo said. “There has been an alarming rise in anti-Semitism and hatred of all kinds across our state and our nation, and these seminars are just the latest effort to ensure our state and local law enforcement have the proper training to investigate and prosecute hate crimes and keep New Yorkers safe.”

“We do not tolerate any form of hate or violence in our state,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “With the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in New York and across the nation, we are doubling down on our efforts to combat these crimes. The series of training seminars hosted by the Hate Crimes Task Force will help to ensure law enforcement agencies across the state have the training and resources they need to investigate these crimes and protect residents.”

Each of the training sessions will feature presentations by members of the New York State Hate Crimes Task Force (State Police, DCJS and DHR), as well as the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the Queens County District Attorney’s Office. The Manhattan training will also include a presentation by the NYPD. Topics covered in the sessions include an overview of hate crime investigation for responding law enforcement, background on white supremacist groups, the prosecution of hate crimes and the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws in the employment, housing and public accommodation sectors.

In addition to the first training being held today in Manhattan, the training series will be presented at other locations around the state:

 The training sessions are open only to sworn or civilian members of law enforcement, prosecutors, parole and probation officers and correction officers. The seminars will be closed to media due to the law enforcement-sensitive nature of the training.

New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, “These training sessions allow State Police and our law enforcement partners to learn about the latest legal issues and techniques that will assist in the investigation of hate crimes. This collaborative effort is critical to ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions and successfully prosecuted.”

Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said, “We are proud to partner with State Police and the Division of Human Rights on this series of seminars and thank Governor Cuomo for his continued support. No matter if the intended target is an individual, a group of individuals or a piece of property, bias and hate motivated crimes have no place in this state. Keeping law enforcement informed and trained on best practices for responding to and investigating hate crimes will ensure communities will be safer for all New Yorkers.”

Division of Human Rights Commissioner Angela Fernandez said, “This training is essential to let perpetrators know that, when they engage in hate crimes and bias incidents, New York State will apply the full weight of the law. Our agency will continue its work with the Hate Crimes Task Force to educate New Yorkers about their right to live with dignity, free from discrimination and bias.”

This training comes as New York continues to experience a number of bias-related incidents, including three separate incidents in recent days of anti-Semitic graffiti in Rockland County, Queens and Long Island.

Governor Cuomo has taken a number of actions to combat hate and bias-related incidents, including the launch of a Hate Crimes Text Line, enabling any New Yorker to easily report incidents in their community. Those who have experienced or witnessed bias or discrimination are encouraged to text “HATE” to 81336 with details of the incident, including photo or video documentation.  

The text line is in addition to a toll-free telephone bias and discrimination hotline operated by the State Division of Human Rights (1-888-392-3644). Since its creation in November of 2016, the hotline has received nearly 23,400 calls and has referred 187 calls to the State Police for investigation into potential criminal conduct. In case of emergency or if you are a victim of a crime, always dial 911. A $5,000 reward is also being made available for any information leading to an arrest and conviction for a hate crime.

Under state law, a person commits a hate crime when one of a specified set of offenses is committed targeting a victim because of a perception or belief about their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, or when such an act is committed as a result of that type of perception or belief. Hate crimes can be perpetrated against an individual, a group of individuals or against public or private property. Also under state law it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, ethnicity and many other protected classifications.