The Constantine Institute, Inc.
102 Willett Street
Albany, New York 12210
JOINT LEGISLATIVE FISCAL COMMITTEE HEARING
5 FEBRUARY 2014
STATEMENT OF TERRY O’NEILL, DIRECTOR
THE CONSTANTINE INSTITUTE, INC.
The Constantine Institute, Inc. has been organized to promote the
highest constitutional, legal, ethical and professional standards in law enforcement, to encourage innovation in public safety
strategy, tactics, training and education and to foster a seamless continuum of cooperation, support and mutual respect among
public safety agencies and organizations.
1999, then Assemblyman Edward Griffith, a longstanding member of the Ways and Means Committee celebrated for his conscientiousness,
paid his first visit in many years to his native Panama. On his return, he told me that he had been shocked and appalled
to see the war damage still evident in Panama City from the military incursion that President George H. W. Bush had ordered
to effect the arrest of Panamanian strongman and drug trafficker Manuel Antonio Noriega ten years earlier. I explained to
him that United States had had to take action because Noriega had basically allowed Colombian and Mexican drug cartels use
his country’s financial institutions as piggy banks and money laundries. (See: Our Man in Panama,
John Dinges, Random House, 1990) In fact, sovereign governments of many small nations in the Caribbean Basic were vulnerable
to this phenomenon. Mr. Griffith wanted to do something.
At Mr. Griffith’s
request, I developed a legislative proposal that would mobilize the intellectual resources of our state’s great public
university system to develop recommendations to guide the state and the nation on confronting transnational organized crime
and terrorism. In its current iteration, this proposal is appended to this written testimony in the form of draft legislation.
I offer it to the committees for your consideration and we would be happy to work with any and all of you. What Mr. Griffith
wanted to do in 1999 is still as well-considered and even more timely today that it was then.
has been my ambition for twenty years now to make New York a center for research and development on cutting-edge ideas in
public safety, tackling problems ranging from youth gangs and street crime to transnational organized crime and terrorism.
These difficult times challenge us to be resourceful in finding the means to create and sustain new programs and initiatives.
We must be creative in looking at resources we possess of which we have not
their maximum value. We do, in fact possess a unique and untapped resource of great value in the unique and pioneering record
of the New York State Police and our eponymous (i.e., the person our organization is named for) patron Tom Constantine himself.
In 1957, the NYSP made history when it exposed the existence of organized crime in an incident
known as the Appalachin organized crime meeting. That incident sparked a tremendous engagement on the part of the federal
government and law enforcement agencies all over the nation to confront and combat what has today grown into a global network
of criminal enterprises. (See: McMafia: A Journey through the Global Criminal Underworld, Misha
Glenny, Vintage Books, 2009) The United Nations estimates that criminal organizations worldwide profit over $2 trillion a
year, twice what all the nations on earth spend on their annual military budgets.
1991, under the leadership of then State Police Superintendent Tom Constantine, the operations of Colombia’s Cali Cartel
were exposed in New York after a six-year investigation that began with the 1985 discovery of a cocaine processing lab in
rural Montgomery County. Four years later, as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Constantine presided over the dismantling
of the cartel and the capture, extradition, sentencing and imprisonment of its leaders and the forfeiture of some $8 billion
of their criminal assets. The Cali Cartel is acknowledged to have been the largest and most powerful criminal conspiracy
in history. (See: Drug Lords: The Rise and Fall of the Cali Cartel, the World’s Richest Crime Syndicate
, Ron Chepesiuk, MILO Books Ltd., 2003) An alumnus of our New York State Police took it down. And the New
York State Troopers who exposed the old Mafia in 1957 dragged the New Mafia out into the light of day in 1991.
Between 2000 and 2003, Constantine, serving as Oversight Commissioner for reform of the Police
Service of Northern Ireland, played a major role in ending more than three decades of terrorist violence in the British Isles
by giving the people of the province a police service that is committed to the highest legal and ethical principals, excellence
in professionalism and the philosophy of community policing. This is a remarkable achievement and it stands as a model of
what needs to be achieved in many areas of the globe that do not have so trusted an institution to maintain public order.
This unique and internationally acknowledged legacy of pioneering achievement
is an asset of considerable but unrealized value for purposes of developing a privately-funded and ultimately self-sustaining
endowment to support research, development, training and education in the struggle against transnational organized crime and
The Constantine Institute proposed for the SUNY system by the appended
draft legislation will marshal the intellectual resources of our great public university system and serve as a focal point
for research and deliberation on the control of transnational organized crime and terrorism. Modeled on the prestigious Nathanson
Centre for Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security established in 1997 at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University
in Toronto (http://nathanson.osgoode.yorku.ca/), the institute will sponsor a diverse research program
that will reflect a balance among the issues relating to legal, operational, social, political, and economic aspects of responding
to these threats. It will organize conferences and symposia that will bring together the best minds among academics, law enforcement
professionals, the military services, the intelligence community, lawmakers, the diplomatic corps and the business and financial
sectors to develop strategies, tactics, relationships and legal and diplomatic frameworks for more effective international
Since its inception in 1987, the Lt. Col. Henry F. Williams Homicide Investigation Seminar
hosted by the New York State Police has brought together thousands of what have become known as Williams Associates, a powerful
network of professional colleagues from all over America and quite a number of foreign nations. We envision an even more
capable global network of Constantine Fellows composed of alumni of our future series of annual conferences on transnational
organized crime and global terrorism.
The concept of community policing has been widely known for nearly three decades.
It is based on a police agency’s building and working in partnership with community stakeholders to identify and solve
problems that degrade quality of life and create an environment in which crime thrives. It has never been systematically
promoted by the state of New York. Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal offers nothing to suggest that he will change that.
The epidemic of drug-fueled violence that took hold in the 1980s resulted in the lion’s
share of public safety resources being invested in prison capacity during the administration of Governor Mario M. Cuomo.
The Pataki years saw the emergence of Operation IMPACT, the state’s primary local assistance program for law enforcement
derived from the widely influential, statistics-driven, technology-based policing made popular under the administration of
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani under the name CompStat in the mid-1990s.
The popularity of Giuliani-style enforcement nationwide has effectively driven police agencies
apart from the communities they serve and stymied the growth of the community policing movement. More recently, the “controversial
:stop and frisk” practice that was the hallmark of NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly’s long tenure evolved into a serious
irritant in police/community relations. It has also, as research first published in 2010 by Dr. Eli Silverman Professor Emeritus
of John Jay College and Dr. John Eterno of Molloy College has indicated, resulted in downgrading of felonies and discouraging
victims from filing complaints by commanders who are under relentless pressure to report steadily declining rates of crime.
I would commend to your attention a book these scholars brought out just two years ago greatly expanding upon their research.
(See: The Crime Numbers Game: Management by Manipulation, Advances in Police Theory and Practice,
Eli Silverman and John Eterno, CRC Press, 2012.) (See also: The NYPD Tapes: A Shocking Story of Cops, Cover-ups,
and Courage, Graham A. Rayman, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013)
in contemporary policing have been saying loudly and clearly that police/community partnership has become severely attenuated.
We have turned police cars into rolling high-tech offices. Now, officers won’t get out of the “office” and
interact with the public. Bernard Melekian, the recently departed Director of the US Justice Department's COPS program has
noted that while the numbers show that cities have grown safer, opinion polls confirm that Americans still fear crime.
Even more emphatically, this past year, the New York City Police Department was
finally brought to heel with respect to that most egregious and widespread abuse of the data-driven policing tactics that
debuted under former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani -- i.e. “Stop-and-Frisk”. I have characterized Judge Shira Scheindlin’s
landmark decision in Floyd v. City of New York as the most significant court decision affecting
police management, supervision and training since the 1978 US Supreme Court ruling in Monell v. Department of
Social Services of the City of New York.
In Albany, recent years have seen an extraordinary community discussion on the direction we
want our police department to take. This was catalyzed by a number of tragic homicides involving victims and perpetrators
of a very young age. These kids are not statistics. In a small city like ours, they have names. The kids in our neighborhoods
and schools know them. For nearly four years, however, we had a chief of police who was addicted to the flashy technology
we got through Operation IMPACT, created a “strike force” and responded to expressions of public dissatisfaction
with the department’s service and performance by citing statistics from DCJS indicating a decline in reported crime.
In 2010, Albany went through a very public process of searching for and selecting
a new police chief. The people had the opportunity to tell the search committee empanelled by the mayor what kind of chief
they wanted. At the same time, the interim team managing the Albany Police Department worked closely with the Common Council
to develop a framework for designing and implementing a community policing plan. That plan is now in place. It has as its
most visible component the establishment of Neighborhood Engagement Units that have divided the city into eighteen police
beats with permanently assigned officers who have a community policing mandate. Fully ten percent of the department’s
manpower is committed full-time to this program. Officers in these units are in constant communication with patrol and investigative
units making theirs a most valuable contribution to our innovative practice of Intelligence-led Policing.
have the honor of having served on the Buffalo Police Department Reorganization Commission which has a mandate to review the
organization and geographic deployment of the department and to develop a plan for the implementation of community policing.
Your colleague Assemblymember Michael Kearns was a key player in getting this commission going. A major impetus for the creation
of this panel was the notorious City Grill Massacre that took place outside a popular downtown nightclub in August 2010.
Eight people were shot, four of them fatally. Though there were over one hundred witnesses to this shocking crime, no one
would cooperate with the department’s investigation. Obviously, in the city of Buffalo relations between the police
and the community had reached a very attenuated state. The Common Council subsequently adopted a resolution creating the
commission. The management of the Buffalo PD asserts that it has community policing. I disagree. Buffalo is divided into
five large police districts. Two “community police officers” are assigned to each and I’ve been told that
their expertise on community policing will affect the department through some process of osmosis. This is nonsense. Buffalo
has almost eight hundred sworn officers. Only ten are assigned to this program.
while our commission had a panel of dedicated and capable volunteers to accomplish its task, it had no meaningful resources
or administrative support. As the time drew near for producing the commission’s mandated report, I wrote to DCJS Executive
Deputy Commissioner Michael Green requesting that his agency provide that support under a long-extant statutory program (
Executive Law § 837(5)) that provides advice and technical support for county and municipal police agencies under the
rubric “management studies.” I was subsequently informed by DCJS that this program can only be used at the specific
request of the chief executive of a police agency. Unlike what happened in Albany and in several other instances I’ve
been involved in that directly and successfully addressed a poor state of police/community relations through a concerted dedication
to community input, the management of the Buffalo PD offered no meaningful cooperation with the commission. We were not able
to hold the kind of public hearings and community forums that worked so well in Albany. Commissioner Daniel Derenda believes
that the fact that he has assigned -- out of a force of some eight hundred sworn police officers -- two “community police
officers” to each of five very large and populous police districts in the city constitutes the delivery of neighborhood
policing. That is utter nonsense. In Albany, nearly 10% of the Albany Police Department’s workforce is assigned full-time
to provide community policing in eighteen neighborhood beats.
Law § 837(5)) needs to be amended to give DCJS a mandate to respond to requests from municipal authorities other than
the police department for assistance in reviewing police management issues.
we need to do in this year’s budget is to take a good hard look at the local assistance we send to local law enforcement.
Governor Cuomo has proposed re-branding Operation IMPACT to focus on gun-related crime where it heretofore emphasized subsidized
police overtime and acquisitions of pricey technology. We should respond to his willingness to sharpen the program’s
focus and his proposal to provide $3 million in funding for the non-police Operation SNUG anti-violence program that existed
during one budget cycle during the Paterson administration by opening the door even wider. We should be providing leadership
from the state level that encourages local law enforcement to move in the direction of community policing and partnership
with neighborhood stakeholders. Communities with a healthy sense of trust and partnership with their law enforcement agencies
are attractive to home-buyers, business investment and tourism. There should be a strong state program to encourage it as
a essential component of our economic development efforts in all our distressed communities.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD PRESERVATION CRIME PREVENTION ACT
There is a moribund statutory framework in New York to promote a type
of community-based problem-solving that focuses on neighborhood preservation and renewal. It is the Neighborhood Preservation
Crime Prevention Act (NPCPA) (Chapter 55, Laws of 1983). It was intended to promote the creation of an infrastructure of community-based
nonprofits that would partner with local police and other municipal agencies to preserve and renew neighborhoods and thereby
reduce crime. DCJS was charged with administering the NPCPA and tasked with awarding small grants and providing technical
assistance to the nonprofits encouraged by the program.
legislation, which Albany County District Attorney David Soares has called “one of the most brilliant pieces of legislation
ever drafted, empowering neighborhoods and empowering people,” was never implemented. In fact, early in the Mario Cuomo
administration, DCJS’ entire community crime prevention program was abruptly terminated. But neighborhood deterioration,
specifically the abandoned building problem, continues to be a major criminogenic problem in all of our in all of our cities.
We should, if not activate the NPCPA, at least come up with a program that fully integrates neighborhood preservation into
our overall crime-fighting strategy.
Between 1983 and 1994, the population of the state prison system exploded
from 17,000 to 71,000 at its peak. Today, the Department of Correctional Services releases almost as many individuals in
a year as were in prison in 1983. Very slowly has our system moved to put in place the network of community resources that
are needed to ensure that these people make a successful transition back to the community. Since former President George
Bush proposed and Congress passed the Second Chance Act, there has been positive development in this direction. In New York,
DCJS has administered funding to support prisoner re-entry task forces in a number of the state’s counties. President
Obama has empanelled a Cabinet-level re-entry task force to co-ordinate programs of a range of federal agencies in support
of state and local re-entry efforts. Congress is apparently authorizing a continuing if reduced commitment of federal funding
for these programs.
Several years ago, I worked with Albany County District Attorney David
Soares on an effort to integrate an inmate re-entry program into the county’s total public safety strategy. In Albany
County, there are some 600 persons under parole supervision at any given time. The problem of caseload overburdening of parole
officers leading to lax supervision of parolees is well known. The rate of recidivism of ex-convicts can rise to two-thirds
in many places. These facts cannot be responsibly ignored by any subdivision’s public safety authorities.
In the course of developing a proposal for Mr. Soares, I learned that there are many organizations
in the community that collectively offer a full range of services that transitioning inmates need. It has become increasingly
accepted that generic transition programs are not the most effective. Each returning inmate has different needs. Each is
most effectively served by a program individually tailored to meet those needs. It is in our interest to have available the
widest array of options out of which to fashion individual reentry programs. To date, the established providers have not
been coordinated, they have competed against one another for resources and clients and some large providers have monopolized
the field. The county re-entry task forces have begun the process of cataloging and coordinating services. But we think
we could do something more.
That something is represented by a program in Albany called Lydia’s
House, Inc. Several years ago, Tamika Williams, an Albany woman who had done time in state prison, incorporated a nonprofit
to own a house offering temporary housing and assistance in accessing transition services to up to six women returning to
the community from prison. A small, intimate and most importantly, community-based program. We strongly support this kind
of program. I am distressed to say that Ms. Williams has experienced discouraging bureaucratic red tape in her quest to provide
this service. For decades now, our distressed and mostly minority neighborhoods have produced most of our prison population.
These neighborhoods, which, outside of New York City, are very often Operation IMPACT zones, are where most individuals under
parole supervision cluster. They are also the neighborhoods where lie much of the abandoned housing stock in our cities.
Lydia’s House is an example of neighbors helping neighbors. In this instance, ex-offenders were being housed and served,
a building in an IMPACT zone is being used in a way that reduces the risk of recidivism and the people of the neighborhood
are being empowered. And when combined with community policing and a renewed investment in neighborhood preservation, perhaps
by providing job training in the building trades for returning inmates, a win-win-win situation.
SPINAL CORD INJURY RESEARCH PROGRAM
over three years ago the shooting in Tucson, Arizona that took the lives of six people and left U.S. Representative Gabrielle
Giffords with a gunshot wound to the head dominated the headlines. An injury such as Representative Giffords sustained is
very serious. No one sustains an injury like that without lasting neurological consequences. And so, she resigned from the
Congress. This tragedy underscores the fact that it is critical that medical research toward better treatments for such brain
and spinal cord injuries goes forward. New York has, in fact, invested more than $70 million in such research under the Spinal
Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP) over the past decade.
SCIRP was created
in 1998 by Paul Richter of Albany, a former State Trooper whose career was ended when he was shot and paralyzed near Lake
Placid on September 30, 1973. With the support of many retired law enforcement officers and veterans’ organizations,
we were able to accomplish the extraordinary legislative feat of getting the SCIRP bill introduced, passed and enacted in
the space of four months as Chapter 338 of the Laws of 1998. The bill was sponsored by former Ways and Means Committee member
Edward Griffith who regarded it as the crowning achievement of his career in the Legislature.
Act imposes a small surcharge on Vehicle & Traffic Law fines that goes into a fund from which grants are made to medical
research facilities in our state. In effect, the program puts the state’s entire force of law enforcement officers
to work, not only making our roads and highways safer and free of drunk drivers, but generating up to $8.5 million annually
that goes directly into research leading to treatment and cure of spinal cord injury (SCI) paralysis, traumatic brain injury
(TBI) and many other neurological conditions. As traffic accidents are the leading cause of SCI and TBI, we consider it the
most extraordinary example of restorative justice we’ve yet seen. Moreover, TBI is at epidemic levels among our military
personnel because of the enemy’s weapon of choice in recent overseas conflicts, the IED. Our commitment to neurological
research has brought aid, comfort and hope to tens of thousands of military families. I would also add that the surcharge
annually brings in many times over SCIRP’s $8.5 million in General Fund revenue. Last year it amounted to some $151
Since 2010, SCIRP revenue has been diverted to other general government purposes.
Last year, the Legislature restored SCIRP funding in the amount of $2 million. Governor Cuomo has proposed $2 million for
the next fiscal year. I would urge the Legislature to add to that an appropriation to restore the full $8.5 million in its
recognition of the soundness of investing in an industry that holds great promise for New York’s future prosperity and
great hope for our citizens who live with neurological impairments of various causes.
The fiscal crisis
has made it difficult to commit police personnel to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program. The State Police has had
to terminate its School Resource Officer Program. Cops and kids still belong together.
2010, I was introduced to Mentor International, a global organization that promotes innovative and scientifically vetted youth
anti-drug abuse programs. At its Prevention Awards Gala in Washington that October, Mentor’s founder Queen Silvia of
Sweden recognized outstanding programs selected from nominations representing fifty nations.
York has world class institutions on the cutting-edge of medical, mental health and social welfare research, law enforcement
organizations with a proven commitment to kids and organizations that teach, guide and advocate for children. Bring them
together on a regional basis to brainstorm and develop concepts for next generation youth anti-drug abuse programs.
The Mentor Awards are given every two years. If we set a goal now and go after it with resolve,
imagination and all of the intellectual resources we have at our disposal, we can proudly have a new program to be New York’s
nominee in the near future. As early, perhaps, as this fall, when Her Majesty will again present her awards.
-- PROTECTING OUR GROWING POPULATION OF ELDERS
December 1991, I read an article in The New York Times about the nature and extent of elder abuse
and many forms it takes. As the state had no public safety program to address this problem, I set out to find one. I almost
immediately encountered the Triad program, the joint creation of the American Association of Retired Persons, the National
Sheriffs’ Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP is today directed by two distinguished
alumni of the New York State Police Bart Johnson and Jim McMahon). Since it was first proposed in 1988, Triad has evolved
into the nation’s preeminent public safety program focused on the needs and concerns of our rapidly growing population
of senior citizens. Working with then Assemblymember RoAnn Destito and Senator Dean Skelos, we prevailed upon the Legislature
to send Governor Mario Cuomo a bill (Chapter 111, Laws of 1993) that gave DCJS a mandate to promote the Triad program throughout
the state. Triad is as relevant today as it was when it rapidly spread throughout the nation through the 1990s. I call upon
the Legislature to encourage Governor Andrew Cuomo to reaffirm the state’s commitment to this concept.
As Attorney General, Governor Andrew Cuomo took
the lead in advocating agency consolidation. Since taking office as governor, he has effected a number of mergers and consolidations
and more are proposed. As pertains to public protection, we can use this consolidation to better combat organized crime,
tax evasion, insurance fraud, Ponzi schemes and all manner of white-collar crime that are bleeding us dry. Fully 20% of New
York’s tax revenue derives from the financial industry. After 9/11, federal enforcement efforts in all forms of white
collar and financial crimes were sharply reduced. The economic crisis of recent years may have changed that, but while we’re
waiting for the feds to lurch toward the next crisis, the State of New York must act to enhance our ability to protect banking
and insurance -- as the governor has proposed -- and, I would suggest, state revenue.
three state agencies charged with oversight of banking, insurance and revenue collection respectively all maintain investigative
divisions. Their agents are designated peace officers (CPL section 2.10, subdivisions (4), (47) and (61)). Simple legislation
can amend the Criminal Procedure Law to give them full police officer status under CPL section 1.20. We can then work toward
forming these units into a cooperative force to work with the State Police and
agencies to fight a variety of forms of organized crime, terrorism, banking and insurance fraud and tax evasion that affect
the financial industry and the state‘s revenues -- forms limited only by the boundless ingenuity of those inclined to
crime, corruption and fraud. The highly specialized expertise of these investigators will considerably amplify the effectiveness
of our full panoply of state and local law enforcement agencies and add another dimension to our seamless continuum of cooperation
in public protection.
In the recent
past, I assisted the union that represents police supervisors for the State University Police in promoting their proposal
to centralize the administration of all the SUNY campus police departments In investigating their issue, Chief Frank Wiley
of SUNY Albany Police Department brought a very important problem to my attention that affects all of New York‘s institutions
of higher learning. Simply put, campus security agencies are not eligible for federal homeland security funding -- even those
whose officers have full statutory police status as do the SUNY Police. I believe, and I hope you will agree, we should be
working with our Congressional delegation to change that.
Our institutions of
higher learning constitute an engine of future economic development and prosperity for the state and people of New York.
The SUNY system alone is comprised of some 1.6 million students, faculty, scientists, researchers, administrators and many
others who live, learn and work on its campuses. These campuses house billions worth of sophisticated equipment, laboratories
and other critical infrastructure. They are developing valuable intellectual property that is a target for theft, espionage,
sabotage and worse. Our investment in this infrastructure of higher learning and research and development is critical to
national security and to our state‘s continued economic competitiveness. These institutions need to be better protected.
The illicit trafficking of tobacco -- much of
it in the form of counterfeited name-brand products -- is a multibillion-dollar global business today, fueling organized crime
and corruption, robbing governments of tax revenue, and spurring addiction and disease. So profitable is the trade that tobacco
is the world’s most widely smuggled legal substance. It is estimated that fully half the cigarettes sold in New York
alone are untaxed. The association representing convenience store owners estimates that the state loses $1.7 billion a year
in lost revenue from untaxed cigarette sales. And they know nothing of the revenues lost through bootleg tobacco traffic.
This fixation that we have on the state’s Native American communities and their refusal to collect and remit state taxes
misses the point entirely. Bootleg tobacco products are produced and trafficked by powerful organized crime syndicates in
many nations, most notably the Peoples Republic of China and North Korea.
New York has
to recognize that every time we jack up the taxes on cigarettes, as we did three years ago, we increase the value of this
form of contraband quite considerably, drive the expansion of the black market, contribute to the profitability of criminal
enterprises the world over and, yes, we support terrorist organizations. Having gone forward with this dubious initiative,
we should, at the very least, turn the Petroleum, Alcohol and Tobacco Bureau of the Department of Taxation and Finance, which
investigates revenue crimes, into a fully empowered and capable police agency because its employees are facing on a day to
day basis increasingly powerful and vicious criminal organizations engaged in ever-growing and lucrative contraband trafficking.
It’s not the Indians they’re up against. It’s the global Mafia.
THE NEW YORK STATE POLICE -- 1917-2017
On April 11, 1917, Governor Charles Whitman signed Chapter 161 of the Laws of
1917 which created the Department of State Police. Col. George Fletcher Chandler, the first Superintendent of State Police,
set up shop in Room 100 of this very building a few weeks later. Four years hence, we will be celebrating the centennial
of the NYSP here in Albany and at troop headquarters and sites of significance in the history of the New York State Troopers
all over the state. We have already begun laying plans to make the most of this occasion to project the prestige of the State
Police, the dedicated service of generations of Troopers and the compelling saga of New York's pioneering history of leadership
and achievement in advancing the best in policing. We look forward to years of exciting collaboration with the Legislature
toward making this a celebration to remember.
I thank you once again for this opportunity to
appear before you and share some thoughts about the public protection aspects of this most challenging year of budget-making.
I first sat through one of these hearings in 1984. At that hearing, on the dais sat Deputy Speaker Arthur Eve. Sitting where
I now sit was Corrections Commissioner Thomas A. Coughlin, III. The two engaged in a memorable colloquy about the prison
system budget at the very inception of the vast prison expansion we engaged in over the following decade. It has always been
a privilege to participate in this process. The result of your hard and diligent work has always worked out to the benefit
of the state and people of New York. Steep declines in rates of crime in recent years has been the result. You are to be
congratulated on this achievement. I wish each and every member of these committees every success in completing this most
intricate, demanding and critical aspect of the people’s business.
AN ACT in relation to establishing
the Thomas A. Constantine Institute for the
University of New York and making an appropriation
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as
1. Declaration of legislative findings and intent. Transnational society today includes multinational corporations, nongovernmental
organizations, criminals, and terrorists. In this environment, organized crime, in particular, has gone global. It has emerged
as the mortal enemy of democratic institutions worldwide and it infects and distorts world commerce and financial institutions.
It has forged alliances with terrorist organizations and links to outlaw states. It is ruthless and inhuman and has raised
a capital of such gargantuan proportions that these organizations can make themselves masters of governments through intimidation,
violence and corruption.
New York has a unique and celebrated tradition of leadership in confronting
and eradicating organized crime. With the 1957 Apalachin incident, the New York state police dramatically exposed the existence
of La Cosa Nostra to an unsuspecting world sparking decades of intense effort to combat criminal conspiracies that had grown
pervasive and entrenched.
In 1991 the New York
state police, under the leadership of Thomas A. Constantine, exposed the operations of Colombia’s Cali cocaine cartel
when the culmination of a six-year investigation disrupted a far-reaching and sophisticated organization that had been established
in the state by the cartel. It was again the first time that a state law enforcement agency had brought the secretive hierarchy
of a major criminal conspiracy out into the light of day -- this time, one based in a foreign country and with tentacles in
Mr. Constantine made further history when, as head of the US drug
enforcement administration, he oversaw an international effort that led to the surrender of the Cali Cartel's leaders and
the effective break-up of its organization during the mid-nineties. This investigation stood in stark contrast to the previous
effort to eradicate Pablo Escobar’s Medellin-based cartel which was prosecuted by the Colombian government through paramilitary
proxies and a campaign of horrific extra-legal violence that cost the lives of many innocent civilians and brought discredit
on the government.
Mr. Constantine is a most accomplished and unique figure in American
law enforcement. Not only had he a hand in bringing down the Cali Cartel -- generally acknowledged to have been the largest
and most powerful criminal conspiracy in history -- but soon after he retired from the DEA, the British government recruited
him to oversee the reform of the royal Ulster constabulary and its reestablishment as the police service of Northern Ireland.
This reform was a major factor in ending more than three decades of terrorist violence in Northern Ireland.
In both of these signature career accomplishments, Mr. Constantine demonstrated that the key
to successfully confronting the threats of transnational organized crime and terrorism is honest, dedicated, professional
law enforcement operating within the bounds of the strictest constitutional, legal and ethical standards. Mr. Constantine
is recognized and respected worldwide among his peers as the paradigm of that kind of professional law enforcement.
The problem of transnational criminal conspiracies is growing and metamorphosing at a frightening
rate. We are already in mortal confrontation with organizations that threaten peace, prosperity and public confidence in law
enforcement's ability to protect our people, our democratic institutions and our economic well-being. With the internationalization
of organized crime and the emergence of global terrorism, the challenge to law enforcement has grown exponentially. To meet
that challenge, we must develop the legal and diplomatic frameworks within which the law enforcement authorities of many nations
may cooperate along with the essential personal and professional relationships that build trust and unity of purpose. There
is an urgent need for deliberation, research, policy development, law reform and education to confront the threat of transnational
organized crime and terrorism.
This legislation establishes the Thomas A. Constantine
Institute for the Study of Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism within the state university of New York. Inspired by
Mr. Constantine’s extraordinary career achievements and the international respect he has earned in the field of public
security, this entity will provide a focus for research and deliberation on the control of these phenomena and for public
education about their manifestations. Its ultimate goal is to provide a valuable and practical resource for the world’s
law enforcement agencies, governments and the international business community.
2. There is hereby established within the state university of New York the Thomas A. Constantine Institute for the Study of
Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism. Such institute shall organize conferences and seminars, develop training programs
for law enforcement officers, sponsor and promote research, publish its proceedings and maintain a library. The chancellor
and trustees of the state university shall appoint a person well qualified by education and experience to administer such
institute. Such institute shall be authorized to establish a development program to build its own endowment.
§ 3. The sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000), or as much thereof as may be
necessary, is hereby appropriated to the state university of New York from any monies in the state treasury in the general
fund for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this act. Such sum shall be payable on the audit and warrant of the
state comptroller on vouchers certified or approved by the commissioner of taxation and finance, or his duly designated representative
in the manner provided by law. No expenditure shall be made from this appropriation until a certificate of approval of availability
shall have been issued by the director of the budget and filed with the state comptroller and a copy filed with the chairman
of the state senate finance committee and the chairman of the assembly ways and means committee. Such budget and a copy of
each such amendment shall be filed with the state comptroller, the chairman of the state senate finance committee and the
chairman of the assembly ways and means committee.
§ 4. This act shall take
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
No. Assembly No:
TITLE OF BILL:
ACT in relation to establishing the Thomas A. Constantine Institute for the Study of
Organized Crime and Terrorism within the State University of
and making an appropriation therefor
PURPOSE OF BILL:
will establish a focal point for research and deliberation on the control of transnational organized crime and terrorism.
The institute will sponsor a diverse research program that will reflect a balance among the issues relating to legal, operational,
social, political, and economic aspects of transnational organized crime and terrorism. It will organize conferences and symposia
that will bring together the best minds among academics, law enforcement professionals, the military services, the intelligence
community, lawmakers, the diplomatic corps and the business and financial community to develop strategies, tactics, relationships
and legal and diplomatic frameworks for more effective international cooperation in the control of transnational organized
crime and terrorism. Its ultimate goal is to be a valuable and practical resource for the world’s law enforcement agencies,
governments and the international business community.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill is a declaration
of legislative findings and intent.
Section 2 of the bill establishes within the
State University of New York the Thomas A. Constantine Institute for the Study of Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism.
Such institute shall organize conferences and seminars, develop training programs for law enforcement officers, sponsor and
promote research, publish its proceedings and maintain a library. The bill directs that the Chancellor and Trustees of the
State University shall appoint a person well qualified by education and experience to administer such institute. Such institute
is authorized to establish a development program to build its own endowment.
3 of the bill makes an appropriation of $500,000.
Transnational society today includes multinational
corporations, nongovernmental organizations, criminal conspiracies and terrorists networks. In this environment, organized
crime has gone global. It is estimated that this global network of evil profits some $2 trillion a year, more than twice the
combined annual military budgets of every nation on earth. Were it not for the existence of this shadowy empire, terrorist
groups like al Qaeda would be unable to function. They would have no market for their contraband and no means of laundering
their monies, moving their operatives or acquiring weapons and other war materiel.
the internationalization of organized crime and the emergence of global terrorism, the challenge to law enforcement has grown
exponentially. To meet that challenge, we must develop the legal and diplomatic frameworks within which the law enforcement
authorities of many nations may cooperate along with the essential personal and professional relationships that build trust
and unity of purpose. There is an urgent need for research, policy development, law reform, diplomatic initiatives and education
to confront the threat of transnational organized crime and terrorism.
establishes the Thomas A. Constantine Institute for the Study of Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism within the State
University of New York. Inspired by Mr. Constantine’s extraordinary career achievements and the international respect
he has earned in the field of public security, this entity will provide a focus for research and deliberation on the control
of these phenomena and for public education about their manifestations.
will sponsor a diverse research program reflecting a balance among the issues relating to legal, social, political, and economic
aspects of international organized crime and terrorism. It will organize conferences and symposia bringing together the best
minds among academics, law enforcement professionals, the intelligence community, lawmakers, the diplomatic corps and the
business and financial community to develop strategies, tactics, relationships and legal and diplomatic frameworks for more
effective international cooperation in the control of transnational organized crime and terrorism.
mission of the Constantine Institute is to serve as a valuable and practical resource for the world’s public security
agencies, governments and the international business community.
This is new legislation.
The bill appropriates $500,000 from the General Fund. These monies will fund a
campaign to build an endowment for the Constantine Institute. It is projected that $3 million can be raised from private sources
to support this initiative in perpetuity. To the maximum extent possible, the endowment campaign will draw upon the resources
of the State University of New York and the efforts and talents of willing members of the university community.