Statement from Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Dale
As Commissioner I am committed to holding Nassau County Police officers to the highest standards of conduct. When I started my tenure as Commissioner there were 33 active internal affairs investigations. Since that time 30 have been resolved resulting in 1,000 days pay or $50,000 in fines being levied by the department. Two resulted in police officers being terminated.
It is critical to note that I lobbied the Nassau County Legislature for a change in county law that allows officers to choose arbitration when their penalty exceeded a certain number of days. The Nassau County Legislature approved this change with bipartisan support. As Police Commissioner I should be held strictly accountable by the County Executive and the people of Nassau County for police conduct. I have also started a "Disciplinary Probation'' period and "Counseling'' services as part of the discipline process.
The shooting incident that occurred on February 27, 2011 involving off duty Nassau County Police Officers was investigated by the Suffolk County Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. No criminal wrongdoing was found. However I have an active internal affairs investigation open regarding this incident, and there is a pending civil trial in Suffolk County. These two factors prevent me from commenting further about this issue at this time. It is important to note that departmental sanctions can be as punitive as criminal proceedings.