One day after Nassau police officer Vincent LoGiudice was charged with the felony assault of a Westbury man, police and politicians spoke out on surveillance of police activity in Nassau County.
NCPD Inspector Kenneth Lack confirmed the department began developing a pilot program to test and review dashboard and body cameras. Working with two private sector companies, the department will test and review the technology before deciding on its implementation.
The pilot program is part of an 18-month revitalization of Nassau police ethics and policies and was sparked by the alleged beating of Kyle Howell in Westbury last month.
“It’s about everyone’s protection; the police officers and the general public.” said Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams, D-Freeport. “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.”
Abrahams joined together with fellow Nassau lawmakers to Wednesday to announce a resolution to require dashboard cameras in Nassau. Abrahams and fellow lawmakers–Legis. Carrie Solages, D-Elmont, and Legis. Siela A. Bynoe, D-Westbury–made the announcement in front of Nassau Police Headquarters.
“Transparency and public trust is the cornerstone of government and there is no time like today to start taking real steps on ensuring that law enforcement and our residents are being protected with technology that can allow the truth to prevail.” stated Bynoe.
“There is a lot of stress in the job of a police officer and we appreciate that," added Solages. "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 legislation would order the First Precinct in Baldwin, the Third Precinct in Williston Park, and the Fourth Precinct in Hewlett to install the cameras on marked and unmarked patrol cars and motorcycles, Newsday reported.
Nassau presiding legislator Norma Gonsalves, R-East Meadow, claimed the resolution was a "day late and a dollar short" since the county had already been exploring the pilot program, said the report. Abrahams responded that while he is glad the county is proceeding with the program, he didn't "deem it a coincidence that they announced this today."
Do you think Nassau County Police should have dashboard cameras and body cameras? Do you think cameras would make police accountable for their actions? Or is it an invasion of privacy? Tell us in the comments.