Law enforcement officials and prosecutors are intensifying a debate over the implementation of sweeping changes to New York’s criminal justice system.

They voiced concerns November 22 in gatherings around the state, including in Delaware County where Sheriffs, prosecutors and government leaders objected to some of the changes that are set to take effect at the beginning of 2020. That includes an overhaul of the state’s bail law. It removes pre-trial detention and money bail for the wide majority of misdemeanor and non-violent felony cases.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond hosted the meeting in the Southern Tier that was attended by Broome County Sheriff David Harder and New York State Senator Fred Akhar, himself a former Broome County Undersheriff and current part-time patrol officer in the Village of Port Dickinsion, among others.

Officials say the changes, especially eliminating cash bail in a large number of cases, will jeopardize public safety.

Supporters of the changes say it will prevent poor people from languishing in jail for low-level crimes while their cases work through the system.