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Tom O’Mara: “New Yorkers are not done worrying about crime”


Weekly column from the NYS Senator from the 58th Senate District

By Tom O’Mara

Recall what Governor Kathy Hochul told the Buffalo News back in May claiming that she and her Democrat supermajority allies in both houses of the State Legislature have taken all the steps needed to fix their failed and dangerous bail reform experiment.

“We are done with bail,” the governor proclaimed. “We accomplished what we needed to do.”

In other words, the Albany Democrats announced their satisfaction with an approach to crime that keeps giving away streets and neighborhoods across this state to the lawlessness being driven by a “no consequences” approach to criminal justice.

Consequently, the Democrats’ carefree mindset on fighting crime makes the latest poll from the well-respected Siena College Research Institute (SCRI) absolutely alarming. Most New Yorkers have a far different view on where things stand.

In fact, the poll, eye-opening to say the least, makes it look like Albany Democrats are living on another planet.

According to Siena’s latest statewide survey:

  •  Eighty-seven percent of all New Yorkers view crime as a serious problem in this state, with nearly 60% calling it a serious concern in their own community;
  •  Sixty-one percent of New Yorkers are either very or somewhat concerned that they could become the victim of a crime;
  •  Approximately one-third, 36%, of New Yorkers have felt threatened over the past year in a public place by a stranger’s behavior;
  •  Forty percent of state residents have spent $100 or more in the last year on goods or services that make them feel safer or more protected from crime, with 12% spending more than $500;
  •   About a third of New Yorkers have purchased home security cameras or security lights with motion sensors, and 25% have hired a professionally monitored home security system;
  • Nearly 40% have witnessed violent or threatening behavior among others in a public setting; and
  • Forty-one percent say that they have “never been this worried about their personal safety as they are today.” 

That’s just a sampling of the findings that, taken as a whole, serve as a complete rejection of any claim by Albany Democrats that they “have accomplished what we needed to do” to restore law and order in this state. You can view the full poll results and read more on the SCRI website at:

Public safety is one of the, if not the single highest responsibility of any government. New York government under one-party control has failed on this front. New York remains the only state in the nation where the judge can NOT consider dangerousness in setting bail. Further, too many crimes remain ineligible for bail, stalking and menacing to name just two, which may include actions a whisker away from serious injury or death.

SCRI Director Don Levy, summarizing the latest survey, stated, “Crime isn’t just something that happens to others far away according to New Yorkers. While 87% say crime is a serious problem in our state and 57% say it is a problem in their community, a disturbingly high 61% say that they are worried about it happening to them, a majority are concerned about themselves or their loved ones being safe in public places and many are taking steps to protect themselves as best they can. Is this the worst it’s ever been? Forty-one percent of all New Yorkers with little variation across most demographic groups, say that they’ve never been this worried about their personal safety.”

The vast majority of New Yorkers continue to believe, despite the all-Democrat approach to criminal justice, that they are not safe where they live, work, go to school, and raise families. They blame the bad policies that keep flowing out of Albany.

“We have accomplished what we needed to do,” Governor Hochul said back in May.

Most of the rest of New York begs to differ. Most New Yorkers are seeing and feeling the consequences of the Albany Democrat, no consequences approach to criminal justice.

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