Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter on Tuesday denied the police union’s claim that the department is unfairly evaluating and disciplining officers based on newly mandated forms detailing when officers use physical force.
“These are not employee evaluations, or discipline investigations,” Krumpter said in an interview Tuesday.
“This is nothing more than a report of an incident,” he said, “and we will evaluate police officers’ conduct much in the same way we evaluate their conduct when they write a case report, when they write an accident report, when they write a supporting deposition.”
Krumpter spoke in response to a labor complaint filed by the Nassau Police Benevolent Association, alleging the department violated the contract. It said the department mandated a new rule that should have been subject to negotiations when it earlier this year said officers had to fill out such physical force reports.
The PBA’s complaint, filed with the state Public Employment Relations Board, seeks clarity on how the department is using the forms.
Since the department implemented the new procedure requiring officers to complete a Form 258 when it updated its use of force policy in July, a total of 73 incidents have been documented through Nov. 19, according to department statistics.
PBA President James Carver, who said the form could be used to evaluate an officer’s job performance and is therefore subject to collective bargaining, declined Tuesday to say whether the department had disciplined any officers based on the forms, citing the ongoing litigation.
But Carver said Krumpter has failed to provide about 500 police officers with stun guns and the requisite training after announcing in 2014 he would equip the entire force with the weapons. Carver said those officers could be subject to unfair discipline because they lack the equipment.
“If the officer who doesn’t have a Taser, was never trained in a Taser and had to make a life or death situation and [instead] utilized his handgun, what’s the liability on my police officer?” Carver said.
Krumpter said the department has distributed about 1,800 stun guns to officers and plans to have more than 90 percent of patrol cops trained and issued the equipment by the end of next year.
“For Jimmy Carver to say that they can’t fill out a report outlining the use of force because they don’t have Tasers, that’s like mixing apples and trucks,” Krumpter said.
The union complaint comes as the use of physical force by law enforcement has been scrutinized nationally after a series of deadly encounters between police officers and civilians, many of them unarmed black men, were captured on video.