Nassau County Executive Laura Curran filed an updated draft of the Nassau County Police Reform and Reinvention Plan with the Nassau County Legislature. The updated draft plan, a product of more than 120 public input sessions and written proposals submitted from residents and community stakeholders, represents the latest blueprint for policing reforms in Nassau County.
The County achieved an important milestone by filing the plan to permit further public input through the legislative process. The plan must be approved and filed with New York State by April 1st. Of the 90 recommendations received, 46 have been accepted, 24 have resulted in modifications to existing policies based upon community input,16 remain under further consideration, and 4 were not accepted for inclusion in the plan, as explained in the report.
“As we move forward and build on our current efforts to reform policing, we welcome additional input into this living document,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “I remain committed to building that trust in our communities. I look forward to moving ahead with a community policing effort that meets the needs of all our residents.”
“For the past several months we have been working with our communities on Police Reform. New York State had recommended 11 Changes and the Nassau County Police Department has more than doubled that amount to make 23 changes. Over the course of hundreds of meetings, emails and phone calls, we received 90 recommendations and are moving forward to implement 86 of those. These changes are fair and treat our community and residents with equality and respect. The police department will continue to serve our residents in the most professional manner as we have done since our inception over 95 years ago.”
Based upon public input, the updated draft plan focusses on three main corner stones of Reform and Reinvention: Robust Community-Orientated Policing, Transparency and Accountability.
Some examples of the feedback submitted includes:
Robust Community-Orientated Policing:
- Diversity in Department Staffing and Recruitment – Creation of Diversity Teams, Recruitment cadet programs, mentoring programs for applicants
- Community Outreach for more positive interactions — Establishment of a program at the community libraries where officers read to children every month; formation of a Young Adult
- Council in every precinct, organization of community ride programs with young people through the communities they patrol, more regular National Night Outs with attendance by patrol officers.
- Enhanced collaboration between the Police Department and the Nassau County Mobile Crisis
- Team and increased mental health call intake training to 911 operators
- Improvements to traffic summons collection of demographics that will be available to the public
- Commencing a Body Worn Camera program this year
- Public issuance of a bi-annual use of force report
- Public issuance of a bi-annual bias incident and hate crime report
- Annual implicit bias training
Accountability (3 prong approach):
- Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office within the New York State Attorney General’s office. Among other responsibilities, this independent office will review misconduct complaints statewide regarding any local law enforcement agency.
- Like New York State, the County has also taken steps to promote increased accountability. In 2020, the County Office of Crime Victim Advocate (“OCVA”) was launched. Among its duties, OCVA provides services to all victims and witnesses of crimes, including providing victims of crimes with information on their legal rights and protections with regards to the criminal process. OCVA is a new and vital resource for victims of crimes, including victims of alleged police misconduct, to be provided with guidance in pursuing their rights in the legal system.
- 24/7 Nassau County Complaint Hotline
The Reform and Reinvention Plan will undergo further public-input and collaborative interactive sessions with the Nassau County Legislature until a finalized plan is submitted to New York State on or before April 1, 2021. Our Nassau County EO 203 website will remain open: EO203@nassaucountyny.gov. We are confident that the Nassau County Legislature will have a public input process that will provide meaningful recommendations for this blueprint to evolve into a final plan.
“Nassau County was recently deemed the safest county in America according to US News & World Report. It is my goal that every Nassau County resident, in every community, feels that safety every day.”