Letters: Discipline and the Nassau PD

Nassau County PBA president James Carver comments on

Nassau County PBA president James Carver comments on the policing center that officially opens Monday in place of the Eighth Precinct in Mineola. (April 30, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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This is in response to the essay by Nassau County Police Benevolent Association president James Carver ["Don't give commish too much power," Opinion, May 21].

If a police officer is accused of breaking the law, or misusing his or her authority for personal gain, that officer should not be able to collect a cent of taxpayer retirement money until completely cleared. All too often, when a police officer gets into trouble, the next step is to file papers for retirement and termination pay, before his or her day in court.

Yes, it is true that all officers of any rank should be held to the same standard, and Commissioner Thomas Dale has an obligation to do so.

Carver states that Officer Mike Tedesco should be allowed to collect his termination pay, even though he has been accused of carrying on an affair while on duty. I have no idea if Tedesco is innocent or guilty.

Carver states that "no criminality was involved." Suppose there was a life-or-death situation, and Tedesco's response time was delayed because of an affair? Would the NCPD then face a multimillion-dollar lawsuit?

Stop rewarding police officers for bad behavior by allowing them to collect benefits without consequences for their actions.

Anthony Accordino, Massapequa Park

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We shouldn't judge the Nassau County Police Department by the actions of a few officers. I moved to Nassau County in 2003. Soon after we arrived, my car was hit by a county snow plow. The police officer came to our home, took the report and found the driver. He couldn't have been more professional and polite. He went out of his way to do a complete job.

Another time, my wife's bag was stolen at a local store. The police came, took a report and opened the locked car door for her. The police, once again, were very nice and completely professional.

The Nassau police are very good at their jobs, and I for one could never do the job they perform everyday. I feel safer knowing they are out there protecting my family and me.

Richard Koffler, Merrick

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I have a problem with the Nassau County police commissioner having sole discretion in the firing of so-called bad police officers ["Give commish power to fire," Editorial, May 11].

A system where one person gets to decide who is bad and who gets fired is a system that will be fraught with bias. In his short time in Nassau County, Commissioner Thomas Dale has already proven that he will not dole out punishment "fairly and expeditiously," in the words of his spokesman, Deputy Insp. Kenneth Lack.

Under Dale's watch, three high-ranking supervisors were given permission to retire, allowing them to collect their payouts. They were subsequently charged with the crime of trying to derail the investigation of an alleged high school burglar -- two of them, just a day after they retired.

Dale then refused to grant permission to retire to Officer Mike Tedesco, who has not been charged with a crime, making him ineligible for termination pay. Now don't get me wrong, if he has done what is alleged, Tedesco should be fired along with any other police officer who violates the public's trust.

The officers I am concerned about are the ones the commissioner might take a personal dislike to, those who fail to stand at attention when he enters a room or fail to have their hats on at a detail, etc.

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Dale needs to start holding supervisors accountable.

Maureen Stewart, Hauppauge

Editor's note: The writer is a retired Nassau County police officer.

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