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October 4, 2018, 12:15 PM

PBA seeks tougher parole policies to keep cop killers locked up

By Yaron Steinbuch

PBA President Patrick Lynch (center) Photo: Gregory P. Mango

The families of two slain NYPD officers will present their victim impact statements to the state Parole Board on Friday in hopes of keeping three cold-blooded cop killers locked up while the PBA fights for stricter parole guidelines.

Off-duty cop Anthony Abruzzo, 34, was fatally shot while off-duty when he intervened in the robbery of his father-in-law, Joseph Mehran, in front of Mehran’s home on Dec. 16, 1981.

Police Officer Sean McDonald, 26, was gunned down while arresting two armed robbers of a clothing store on March 15, 1994. He was knocked to the ground during a scuffle and was shot five times in the back by the fleeing criminals.

“We recognize that the judicious use of parole for certain offenses make sense, but never in the case of cop-killers,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said in a statement.

“That belief was codified in law when the Crimes Against Police Act of 2005 was adopted to make the murder of a Police Officer punishable by life imprisonment without parole,” Lynch continued.

“Recent changes to the parole decision making policy, adopted by the Parole Board itself, have resulted in the release of the worst violent criminals in the system, including domestic terrorists who planned, set up and sadistically assassinated two uniformed police officers.”

He said his union has been working with the state Legislature to enact a process into law that considers many factors, including the nature of the crime, impact on its victims and their survivors and the activities of the inmate while locked up.

“Those policy decisions must not be left in the hands of political appointees many of whom are nothing more than self-proclaimed prisoner advocates,” Lynch added.

State Republican lawmakers held hearings this week into recent decisions by the Parole Board to release some high-profile offenders, including 70-year-old Herman Bell, a former Black Liberation Army radical who killed two New York City police officers in 1971.

GOP lawmakers opposed Bell’s release earlier this year and said it showed the Parole Board needs greater scrutiny.

In August, dozens of widows of NYPD officers killed in the line of duty joined the PBA to demand that the state government fix a loophole that lets paroled cop-killers back on the streets.

Lynch held Albany responsible for the change in the parole board’s decision-making policy, which could potentially free 59 cop-killers.

The longest sentence for criminals who killed cops before 2005 was 25 years to life.

Those killers, who are eligible for parole after serving 25 years, are now benefiting from 2011 guidelines that look at what criminals have been doing since their incarceration, rather than just the original crime.

Lynch urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo and elected officials to give the families of officers who were slain years ago the same justice that would be demanded if a cop was killed on duty today.

A Cuomo spokesman told The Post in a recent statement that “the governor and the Legislature were responsible for reforms in 2011 that strengthened New York’s parole system, and further, the Governor proposed determinate sentencing two years ago but that effort was rejected by the Legislature.

“We of course remain open to considering any further amendments to the law that are constitutional and advance public safety,” he added.