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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 Democrats Propose Police Reform Amendments

Elvert Barnes

Democrats in Nassau County have proposed a series of amendments to the reform plan drafted by Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. The amendments include a civilian complaint review board, a police inspector general, and an independent consultant to audit police statistics--all items Ryder has so far resisted.

In a letter to County Executive Laura Curran, minority leader Kevan Abrahams said many of the suggestions his caucus proposes were taken from the “People’s Plan”, a reform document written by those who quit Nassau’s police reform task forces after Ryder self-authored his plan.

Neither, Curran nor Ryder immediately returned messages seeking comment.

An executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo requires all police departments in New York to undergo a process of “reform and reinvention” by April 1st.  Not making this deadline could risk state funding.

On Monday, Ryder attempted to push his plan through the legislature but was stymied when the public safety committee tabled the effort.

“I’ve explained it once,” he said during the meeting. “I’m here to answer more and now I’m being sent away after two and a half hours.”

Following the legislative meeting, civil right’s lawyer Fredrick Brewington wrote Curran to say he felt betrayed that she would agree to meet with reformers while simultaneously pushing to pass a plan that excluded further reforms.

“A vote today is a slap in the face that demonstrates a level of disregard that is unspeakable,” Brewington wrote to Curran. 

Nassau public safety committee is expected to consider the changes on Monday.

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.