County legislators held a press conference last week urging the Nassau County Police Department to implement a program that would require its officers to use dashboard and body cameras for what they say would benefit both the public and the police. The NCPD said that development of pilot program for the cameras has already been in place since last month.
On June 4, Legislator Carrie Solages (D-Elmont), along with Legislators Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) and Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury), held a press conference outside the Nassau County Police Headquarters in Mineola. The proposed resolution comes more than a month since a Westbury man alleged that he was attacked by a county police officer during a traffic stop.
“There is a lot of stress in the job of a police officer and we appreciate that,” Solages said. “They are naturally put into very stressful situations and when the public meets a police officer in a given day, that is stressful too. The emotions can fly and memories can be distorted, but now one thing that won’t change is the story that the video tape reflects.”
The legislators have called on the NCPD to implement the program — first in three precincts, then countywide.
“It’s about everyone’s protection; the police officers and the general public,” Abrahams said. “Transparency and accountability are major reasons for this important announcement, but ultimately it is to ensure the protection and safety of all our hard working police officers and the general public that they serve.”
NCPD Inspector Kenneth Lack, however, issued a statement later that day that said that a pilot program is already being developed as part of a comprehensive ethics initiative announced last month. The new technology, Lack said, will be tested and reviewed with the assistance of two private sector companies.
Solages told the Herald that the press conference was held because “they [NCPD] wanted to do it, but didn’t implement it, based on my understanding.” He also said that it’s no coincidence that the NCPD released its statement about development of the program already underway immediately following the press conference.