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New law protects more public workers from on-the-job assault

ALBANY - Legislation to better protect two types of public employees from assault while on the job, offering them similar protections to that of police officers, firefighters and others was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Now, school crossing guards as well as employees of the New York City Housing Authority will benefit from similar, more enhanced protections and penalties.

“This critically important legislation will better protect hardworking employees who are charged with keeping children and families safe,” Governor Cuomo said. “I thank the bills’ sponsors for their work in making these new protections a reality.”

Assaults on New York City Housing Authority employees are not uncommon, and under this legislation, any attack resulting in physical injury on an employee while performing duties at an Authority-owned or operated housing project will now be elevated from a misdemeanor to a violent felony.

School crossing guards, whose primary goal is to protect the safety of schoolchildren, frequently receive verbal and physical threats that often go unreported. As with City Housing Authority employees, the current law will be amended to provide that any assault on a school crossing guard resulting in physical injury while performing his or her duties will now be raised to a violent felony.