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WSHU's Charles Lane follows the different paths taken by Suffolk and Nassau counties on Long Island to undergo mandated police reform.

Nassau Revises Police Reform Plan, Ignoring Large Changes Pushed By Advocates

Nassau County Police
Elvert Barnes

Nassau County made changes to its state-mandated reform plan and submitted it to lawmakers for approval. The changes incorporate some 90 comments from public input session, but ignore the larger issues that reformers have spent the last four months fighting for.

Nassau Police added 85 pages to its first, self-authored Police Reform and Reinvention plan. The most significant additions include public disclosure of 911 statistics, disclosure reports for when officers use language assistance technology and more mental health interaction training for cops.

The new changes ignore the large issues that caused many advocates to quit the county’s reform groups in protest. The document says it will consider a civilian complaint review board, but then goes on to justify the department’s current policy. Police will offer training on pretextual stops training, not get rid of them entirely. Instituting unarmed traffic stops was not included.

Advocates say the current system of policing disproportionately harms Black and Latinx communities. They want to see less interactions with police. This philosophy was also not included in the reform plan.

Nassau lawmakers are expected to begin considering the plan at its general meeting on Monday. Reformers are expected to publish a counter proposal in the coming days.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.