Governor of New York Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York Kathy HochulREUTERS/Brendan McDermid

New York Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled on Monday the launch of the state’s Hate and Bias Prevention Unit.

The new agency will work to combat the increase in antisemitic and other hate crimes, ABC7 reported.

The Hate and Bias Prevention Unit will oversee public education and outreach to the public, and will also become an early warning system for hate crimes in local communities, according to the report. The unit will be tasked with sending agents to the scenes of hate incidents.

"New York State will use every tool at its disposal to eliminate hate and bias from our communities," Hochul said in a statement. "We will not let the rise in hate incidents that we see happening online, across the country and across the world, take root here at home."

The announcement came on the same day that Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Jewish leaders held a meeting to discuss the surge of antisemitism in the state. The meeting included New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who said: "Like all of you, I feel the same fear, the same dread, the same alarm, that past generations of Jews have felt when anti-Semitism rears its ugly head.”

In November, Hochul signed two bills into law that will expand hate crime education and training in the state, ABC News reported.

The first bill will require people convicted of hate crimes to undergo training on hate crime prevention and education as part of their sentence. The training is currently optional but not a requirement. The court or local agencies must authorize the programs, training sessions or counseling sessions.

The second bill launches a statewide campaign run by New York's Division of Human Rights that will promote acceptance, inclusion, tolerance and understanding of the diversity of New Yorkers. In addition, public and private organizations will work to develop educational materials to be published online, on social media and on other platforms to reach the public, according to the bill.