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OpinionLetters

Motivation a factor in becoming a cop, future of NHCC, Naomi Osaka

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, center, is joined

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, center, is joined by members of Nassau County's newly established Police Diversity Committee at a press conference in Mineola on Thursday, June 3, 2021. The group is tasked with improving diversity in the County Police Department by taking a look at recruitment, testing, and the entire hiring process. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Motivation a factor in becoming a cop

During the past 40 years, the Nassau County Police Department has recruited minority applicants for the entrance test ["Barriers to badges on LI," News, May 27]. I became a Nassau police officer in 1973. Before that, I took the test for many police departments. The only help I had finding out which ones were giving tests was the Civil Service newspaper. I was not recruited, but I was motivated. I wanted to be a police officer. When I finally became one, the job had a good salary and benefits. Today, it is a great job.

Many minority candidates indeed are recruited. If a candidate is recruited, it implies that before recruitment, he or she probably had little desire to become a police officer. If you are not motivated, there’s a good chance that you may not take the next step of the selection process. That could be an important reason why at each successive stage of the selection process, fewer minority candidates are available.

John Fallon, Kings Park

Editor’s note: The writer was a lieutenant in the Nassau County Police Department for the last 20 years of a 37-year career.

Most people are unaware that candidates at or below 125% of the poverty level can have the $125 police test fee waived. Many, in my opinion, take the test because it’s free but don’t actually desire to enter law enforcement and do not respond when called.

Regarding the physical portion of the screening process, the firm stance on proper form is one way to see whether candidates can listen to and follow directions exactly, which is of utmost importance when responding to calls on the job.

Police officers cannot know what awaits them until they get to the scene. For their safety and for others, there’s no place for shortcuts or impulsivity with protocols they’ve been trained to use.

Regarding Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder ["Advocates criticize Ryder’s comments," News, May 27], why is calling for someone’s resignation always the go-to response? This is a good example of why police departments are right to resist a civilian oversight board as part of police reform. People need to step back, speak to those who offended them and tell them why they feel offended. That would give them a chance to explain before deciding the consequence. Running to the media and calling for someone to be fired is not reform.

Julie Rossetti, Islip

What ever happened to hiring the best qualified person? Diversity shouldn’t be a factor in hiring, nor should sexual orientation or religion. It should be based on the most qualified person to do any job. I don’t want my airline pilots, doctors, police officers, truck drivers or chefs hired based on race. I, and I presume many Americans, want the best people regardless of their skin color. The only thing this panel does is further divide Nassau County and stop people from trusting the person in that position ["10 named to police diversity panel," News, June 4].

Patrick Nicolosi, Elmont

In 1984, after a Civil Service test and physical, medical and polygraph tests, I was assigned to a Suffolk County Police Department academy class. Right before the class start date, I was advised the class was canceled because the Department of Justice objected to the lack of diversity in the class. I was advised to retake the next Civil Service test. Instead, I took an air traffic controller position.

Thomas Devlin, Amarillo, Texas

Make NHCC part of state hospital system

Generations of Nassau County public officials have treated the Nassau Health Care Corp. like a parochial jobs program ["NHCC chairman resigns," News, May 28]. Politicians over the years have given lip service to the importance of Nassau University Medical Center to at-risk communities but never seemed to have the inclination to put patients first. The only viable solution for NHCC is to remove it from the clutches of Nassau County and make it part of the New York State hospital system. Otherwise, county bureaucrats and union officials of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union will continue to ensure their needs are met at the expense of patients.

Chris Dillon, Centerport

Judge people by the company they keep

A Newsday editorial stated, "We can only assess people, most of the time, by how they act, not by what may haunt them" ["Naomi Osaka’s useful message," June 2]. We read about Osaka not wanting to participate in press conferences, yet her sport has made her the highest-paid female athlete earning almost $100 million in winnings and endorsements the past two years.

When Newsday’s editorial board states we can judge people by "how they act," maybe the editorial should have made readers aware of the photo of Osaka holding the U.S. Open trophy in September with her boyfriend, who gave photographers the finger. If we can judge people by how they act, we can also judge them by the company they keep.

George A. Szarmach, Dix Hills

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