Police reform advocates on Long Island published their own plan for overhauling the police. They are scheduled to present their proposals to both counties as officials work to comply with a state requirement to reimagine policing. The so-called “people’s plan” envisions large structural changes that may run into resistance from lawmakers.
The plan was drafted outside the official task forces Nassau and Suffolk counties created to change policing. It proposes halting pretextual stops, creating unarmed traffic enforcement, police inspector generals, civilian oversight of police misconduct, and ending police deployments in schools.
Two new proposals that have been seldom discussed include requiring police officers to purchase their own liability insurance and creating a permanent task force, which organizer Terryl Dozier explained would make ongoing suggestions for reform.
“To review data on key safety indicators, to solicit community feedback and dialogue,” Dozier said.
At its core, reformers seek a fundamentally different type of policing. Shanequa Levin is one of the organizers.
“The current state of policing doesn’t help reduce crime, but merely provides a response to crime. We do not need more officers in communities, we need programs that uplift our people,” Levin said.
Suffolk County has not yet said when it will release their reform plan and little is available about its contents.
Nassau Police submitted their official plan earlier this week that rejected many of the proposals in the “people’s plan.” However, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran called Thursday's presentation “thoughtful and passionate."
"Clearly, these advocates for reform spent a lot of time on their plan," Curran said in a statement. "We need to review it thoroughly and give it full consideration. We believe at the end of this process many of our reforms will align.”
Democrats in the Nassau County Legislature said they will propose amendments to the official police plan that may incorporate them.