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May 27, 2024

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Following Third Security Breach of Brooklyn
Bridge, Legislation Introduced To Raise
Penalties of Trespassing High-Profile Structures

BROOKLYN, NY, November 18, 2014: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Assembly Member Joseph Lentol stood on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge, and announced state legislation that would raise the penalties for trespassing on critical infrastructure. This came two days following the third security breach of the Brooklyn Bridge since July, this time by a 23-year-old French tourist. The Critical Infrastructure Safety Act would fill a gap in current state law, as well as complement a proposal introduced earlier this year by Senator Charles Schumer that would make it a federal crime to trespass on critical infrastructure with the intent to commit a crime.

“I thank my colleagues State Senator Squadron and Assembly Member Lentol for working with me on this important legislation to advance the safety and security of our city,” said Borough President Adams. “Trespassing on our vital infrastructure is too high a risk to be tolerated, and raising the penalties on this crime will help to curb this behavior. We want New Yorkers and tourists to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, not climb the Brooklyn Bridge.”

“Whether a high profile stunt or a real security threat, trespassing on critical infrastructure comes with higher costs and risks,” said State Senator Squadron. “This proposal, along with Senator Schumer’s effort at the federal level, sends the clear message that in today’s world, these recent breaches are not harmless acts. I thank Borough President Adams for his immediate and focused attention on this, and look forward to working with Assembly Member Lentol and the NYPD to protect critical infrastructure and dissuade costly trespassing.”

“As an elected official, the safety of my constituents and all New Yorkers is my number one priority,” said Assembly Member Lentol. “When people decide to climb bridges or other critical infrastructure they are putting the lives of all New Yorkers in jeopardy. The city does not take these actions lightly. If the NYPD and Fire Department need to send a wide swath of officers to deal with a trespasser, that intruder is taking first responder resources away from the people who really need them. I hope the next time someone thinks of climbing a bridge or other critical infrastructure they think about the other person’s life they might be harming, as well as the potential one year of jail they might be serving.”

“At a time when terror threats are high, we cannot have people trespassing on vital infrastructure that we know are terrorist targets,” said Senator Schumer. “The rash of recent incidents on our bridges shows we need a multi-level federal-and-state response to address trespassing on critical infrastructure. I applaud Borough President Adams, State Senator Squadron and Assembly Member Lentol for introducing legislation that will help keep New York City safe.”

“I applaud my colleagues for introducing this important legislation,” said Assembly Member Joan Millman. “Raising penalties for this type of risky behavior will serve to discourage future incidents that endanger both our safety and security.”

“Everyone wants see our magnificent New York views, but climbing atop the Brooklyn Bridge isn’t the way to do it,” said Assembly Member-elect Jo Anne Simon. “We need to send a message that the public’s confidence in our ability to protect their health, safety and welfare is paramount.”

The Critical Infrastructure Safety Act would apply the same definition used in the Executive Law to protect critical infrastructure from a terrorist attack. Under the bill, a person would be guilty of a class A misdemeanor when an individual trespasses on infrastructure so vital to the state that its disruption, incapacitation or destruction could jeopardize the health, safety, welfare or security of the state, its residents or its economy.

–  Office of the President of the Borough of Brooklyn – Eric L. Adams