Newburgh town police report increase in open warrants since bail reform

Bail reform and whether it will work in New York depends on who you ask.

Those who advocate lower bail for low-level crimes or no bail at all say this has been a huge success.

Members of law enforcement are largely opposed, blaming the bail reforms for rising crime and overwhelming police across the state.

In the town of Newburgh, the police department shares weekly “Writ Wednesday” posts on its Facebook page with mugshots of people who allegedly skipped court after being arrested and released.

This week, they posted 20 photos of defendants arrested for low-level crimes that are not subject to bail.

“It’s just a rotation cycle,” said Lieutenant Adam Zileberger of the town of Newburgh. “Then they don’t show up at their next court appearance and the court issues more warrants against the same person and gets them re-arrested. It’s basically catch and release.”

Zeilberger says there has been a 40% increase in outstanding warrants since bail reform began in 2020.

According to him, there are 80 open warrants from 19 in 2020.

“They need to be transported for arraignment and have to allocate two officers for that, which is a huge resource strain,” says Zeilberger. “Often, there are individuals who have piled up warrants and he’s on ROR, and sometimes he’s got four or he’s got five warrants.”

Anyone wishing to report a tip to the Newburgh Police Department should call 845-564-1100.

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