13 bid to conduct review of Nassau police ethics policies

The Nassau County Police Department, which has faced The Nassau County Police Department, which has faced allegations of officer misconduct and breaches of public trust, is planning to hire a private consultant to overhaul its ethics policies and training standards. (Sept. 19, 2013) Photo Credit: Paul Mazza

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More than a dozen companies have responded to a request for proposals from Nassau County to strengthen the police department's ethics policies and training standards, county officials said.

In the wake of Police Commissioner Thomas Dale's resignation in December after revelations he had ordered the arrest of a witness in a politically charged case, Nassau announced that it would hire a consultant to review the department's ethics, rules, policies and training.

A total of 13 companies responded to the RFP before Wednesday's deadline, said Brian Nevin, spokesman for Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.

He declined to identify the bidders but said they include several "prestigious firms," some of which are from out of state. The county expects to select a winner in the next two to four weeks, Nevin said.

"The Mangano administration is committed to promoting the highest confidence in police procedures while continuing to uphold the department's ethics, rules, policies and training," Nevin said.

The consultant will recommend programs to improve police accountability; implement an "early warning system" that detects patterns of potentially problematic behavior by police staff; and develop a "self-assessment system" that evaluates the department's performance compared to other law enforcement agencies, according to the RFP.

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The winning bidder also will develop an eight-hour training session for department officials and conduct a "train the trainer" seminar for designated personnel.

"It is the department's intention to ensure the continuance of a culture of the highest ethical standards and professionalism," the RFP states. "The department's objectives are to increase the integrity, reduce officer misconduct, increase community trust and advance the department professionalism."

The contract will be for three years with the option for one additional year.

James Carver, president of the Nassau Police Benevolent Association, has said an outside consultant is unnecessary because "we don't have an ethics problem here. One or two incidents shouldn't tarnish a whole department."

The RFP came in the wake of several high-profile controversies involving Nassau police.

Former Nassau police Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan was convicted of misusing his position to help prevent the arrest of his friend's son. He was sentenced in July to 60 days in jail but is appealing.

In December 2012, former Nassau police Officer Michael Tedesco was arraigned on a 108-count indictment alleging he spent at least 80 of his shifts with his mistresses instead of covering his beat. Tedesco has pleaded not guilty.

Police Officer Anthony DiLeonardo was found in an internal affairs investigation to have shot and beat an unarmed cabdriver without justification in Huntington while off-duty in 2011 after a night of drinking. Suffolk District Attorney Spota convened a grand jury into DiLeonardo's actions, but the results of the inquiry are unknown.

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