Editor’s note: On March 22, the Nassau County Legislature approved County Executive Laura Curran’s Police Reform and Reinvention Plan with a 16-3 vote. One of the “nays” came from Legislator Siela Bynoe (D–Westbury), who sent the following letter to Curran prior to the vote:
I write to request that prior to its final adoption, the Police Reform and Reinvention Plan be amended to include the following additional component, which I believe is essential to maintaining the safety of the community, the health and well-being of our officers, and the effective and efficient operation of the Nassau County Police Department:
Early Intervention System (EIS)
In keeping with the recommendations from the Police Executive Research Foundation (“PERF Report”), the department should enhance its EIS, employing objective threshold criteria for departmental intervention with at-risk officers. In the words of the PERF Report,
“the EIS should be a non-punitive tool whose purpose is to proactively identify and address potential issues before they become problems.”
Additionally, in tandem with the EIS, the department should institute a standard 360-degree performance review to identify at-risk officers who may be eligible for intervention.
The EIS should generally follow the criteria and specifications and implementation guidelines described by PERF. Possible interventions could range from change in assignment and additional supervision and training, including amplified retraining and senior leader mentorship programs, to referrals to counseling or support programs.
The department should reevaluate its program on a continual basis to consider new and more effective interventions, in order to reduce risk to the public, the officers and the department. Finally, in the interests of transparency and legislative oversight, the department should publish annual reports and accompanying data on the department’s website regarding the EIS program, while respecting the privacy of the officers utilizing the program.
As a necessary corollary of the foregoing plan amendment, I respectfully request that the implementation of the requirements of the EIS program including the 360-degree review immediately be added to the subjects to be negotiated with the Police Benevolent Association as part of the ongoing collective bargaining process.