Earlier today, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone held a press conference to announce that he will work with State Senator John Brooks, Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini and Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart to draft comprehensive legislation to deter violent acts against public safety professionals in response to several incidents where police officers were assailed with buckets and doused with water.
A rush transcript of the County Executive's remarks is available below:
Good afternoon and thank you for joining us here at the H Lee Dennison Building. I’m joined by a number of my colleagues in office and in law enforcement, I want to thank them for being here and recognize them. Our District Attorney Tim Sini, Commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department Geri Hart, we also have members of the department including our Chief of Department Stuart Cameron, our First Deputy Commissioner Jim Skopek, Chief of Operations McCarthy, Chief of Patrol Brown, and we are also joined by, very honored to be joined by, my colleague here on Long Island my County Executive to the West who is doing an absolutely great job County Executive Laura Curran and she’ll be saying a few words in just a moment.
We are also joined by New York State Senator John Brooks, who represents both Nassau and Suffolk County. We are also joined by Lou Civello Suffolk PBA second Vice President and I want to thank all the members of the PBA. Lou our PBA President Noel DiGerolamo for what they do to protect and promote the interests of our police officers.
We’re here today to talk about an issue of great importance. We’ve all seen some very disturbing incidents, disturbing video that has happened in New York City involving attacks on Police Officers, Police Officers being doused with water, buckets being tossed at police officers- at their heads. These are disturbing images. This is disgusting, disturbing behavior.
It is unacceptable behavior and we are here today, all of us, to make clear that this in unacceptable. An attack on a police officer is an attack on all police officers and attacks on police officers represent attacks on all of us, on public safety, on the rule of law. It’s an attack on the men and women who choose to put on a uniform and go out every single day and potentially put their health, their safety at risk for strangers, for their neighbors for people they’ve never met.
You know I was at a park dedication with Commissioner Hart and others as we dedicated a playground at Van Bourgondien County Park which is run and managed by the Town of Babylon and that playground was dedicated to Detective Figoski, NYPD killed in the line of duty in 2011, left behind four beautiful daughters. I also live right by that park, I live right down the road from another park, Anthony Sanchez, New York City police officer killed in the line of duty, named for him. I take my kids to that park, I take my kids to Van Bourgondien Park and I see these incidents happen and I see the criticism that seems to so easily flow with respect to the men and women of law enforcement who are out there protecting us each and every day.
And I think you know I’d love to see some of these individuals take a stroll through my neighborhood past Anthony Sanchez Park or by Peter Figoski playground to understand the risks these individuals are taking for us every day and the sacrifices that they and their families make on behalf of all of us and the notion that we would in any way tolerate the idea that its acceptable to be assaulting officers, to be throwing things at officers- in our city, in our state, in our country.
It is not tolerable and we are here to say that we are going to work together to not only declare that but put forward legislation that makes sense, that’s responsible, and that makes it clear that its unacceptable. That’s why I thank State Senator John Brooks for being here. There has been legislation, different pieces of legislation that have been put forward, in the Assembly, in the Senate. I want to thank Senator Jim Gaughran as well for a bill that he has sponsored. And I want to thank him and Senator Brooks and other state representatives for their willingness to listen and to work with us here at the local level where we’re on the ground, where our police officers everyday are doing amazing things to listen to the Commissioner and the Chiefs, to listen to the PBA and their input and then to come together and put forward the legislation that says enough is enough.
This is unacceptable, we do not accept assaults on police officers, that is not who we are and to do so and to tolerate that in anyway would undermine public safety and the rule of law in this community, in our state, and in our country and we will not allow it.