New legislation in New York may force first responders to undergo ‘implicit bias training’

While addressing a crisis brought about in part by the unprecedented lockdowns that continue to show a net negative impact on society, New York Democrats, led by Gov. Kathy Hochul, laid the foundation for future social justice initiatives in the form of open-ended “implicit bias” training for first responders.

On Friday, Hochul signed a legislative amendment to amend her state’s mental hygiene law to address growing concerns surrounding mental health. Citing the National Council for Behavioral Health, the bill noted that suicides and drug overdoses have become the two leading causes of death among Americans aged 25-44 and that suicide is the second leading cause of death among New Yorkers aged 10-34.

“Too often, people experiencing a mental health crisis or suffering from addiction feel as though they have no one to turn to,” Hochul said in her statement on signing the legislation promoted as a means to provide the tools to better address these issues. “I am proud to sign this legislation that will provide our brave first responders with the tools needed to assist New Yorkers who struggle with mental health and addiction. The pandemic has only made things harder for New Yorkers, and it is critical that our first responders and emergency services personnel have the proper training and resources to help those in need.”

What Hochul did not highlight in promoting the legislation was the specific measures taken that have little to do with mental health and addiction, and everything to do with furthering a leftist agenda. The amendment reads in part, “The training may include but not be limited to: (1) crisis intervention team training; (2) mental health first aid; (3) implicit bias training; and (4) naloxone training.”

That implicit bias training, meant to address the perceived notion that individuals discriminate against others even unintentionally, and whatever other training the commissioners see fit in the future, will be imposed upon “law enforcement entities, first responders, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO FIREFIGHTERS AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES PERSONNEL, and any other entities deemed appropriate by the commissioners, located with the catchment area of a crisis stabilization center.” Real-world examples of discrimination provided by the New York Post included “assuming all homeless people are drug addicts or minorities are violent.”

Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus (D-Brooklyn), a co-sponsor of the bill with state Sen. James Sanders (D-Queens) told the Post Friday, “Every human being on the planet is affected by implicit bias. So it has nothing to do with your job or who you are. It’s something that we all need to be mindful of.”

No explanation was offered as to what consequences would befall first responders or “any other entities deemed appropriate” should they fail to complete this or other trainings imposed by the commissioners moving forward, but it’s safe to assume those first responders won’t be able to continue their duties as usual.

President of Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors Local branch 2507 Oren Barzilay told the Post, “We don’t have any bias [involving] any creed, gender, race. We know we ought to treat everyone the same. So they want to provide training for that, I’m all for it.”

While Sanders and Frontus echoed the sentiments of Hochul on the critical importance of addressing the mental health issues of New York, none of them expressed the government’s complicity in driving up the numbers of the afflicted through lockdowns and restrictions that stretched well beyond the cautionary two weeks to slow the spread.


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Kevin Haggerty


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