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OpinionLetters

Traffic stops not exclusive to Suffolk

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Police Commissioner

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart in Hauppauge on Tuesday release the results and findings of a study of traffic stop data to detect if bias was a factor in routine traffic stops by the Suffolk County Police Department. Credit: Howard Schnapp

My two daughters and I were discussing our experiences in local traffic courts. I live in Suffolk County, one daughter lives in Nassau County, and the other daughter lives near upstate Rochester. We all live in predominantly white communities. Our similar experiences in our white communities’ traffic courts is that at least 50% of Hispanics get traffic fines. So this apparently is not just a Suffolk problem. I believe this is a universal policing problem.

Hope D. Mann,

Northport

Newsday’s analysis shows that Suffolk County police stopped and searched minority drivers at higher rates than white drivers ["Traffic stop data shows disparities," News, Oct. 20]. It gave readers a good look into where we need to improve. However, I’m not sure we’re using the full statistics to best analyze this. Each police car has a T-Stop, where officers enter location and other information about the stop. We thus have the town, officer’s bio and other information to work with. The Suffolk County Police Department has the number of patrol cars in each precinct and how many are patrolling. Certainly, some areas require more. I believe using this additional information would provide us with a better understanding.

Robert E. Dickson,

Huntington Station

Ways to manage deer population

I believe that John Di Leonardo’s letter "Look out for deer this season" had some inaccuracies: 1) Contraception as a means of reducing the overabundance of deer, without a lethal component used in conjunction, has proven to be an ineffective method. Newsday has published at least one article that included verification of this by a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation representative. The state DEC’s 2018 Community Deer Management Guide also affirms this. 2) Strieter-Lite reflectors have not reduced deer-vehicle collisions, cited in a study at wildlifecollisions.ca/docs. Managing the deer population is vitally important for many reasons. Besides deer-vehicle collisions, deer are carriers of tick-borne diseases, a cause of deforestation and reduction of agricultural crops, a cause of destruction to private landscaping, and more. Also, an overabundant deer population causes the deer themselves to suffer, owing to a lack of food available to them. Thus, it is evident that the overabundant deer population needs to be managed. Venison harvested by hunters through the Deer Management Assistance Program, as well as through municipal culls, can be donated to food banks and soup kitchens, thereby serving multiple purposes.

Kathy Schiavone,

Port Jefferson

While I am not a hunter, the writer of "Look out for deer this season," his credentials aside, tries to camouflage his distaste for hunting by citing out-of-state insurance groups instead of focusing on the reality of the deer population in Suffolk County, which the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation estimates to be 35,000 and growing. Deer are extremely nocturnal, but when I see multiple mature deer, which are not being chased by hunters, sprinting across a busy Route 25A midday, between Kings Park and Northport, I know we have too many deer. In addition, where does the reader suggest Suffolk come up with the crew and funds to inoculate thousands of deer? I say it’s simply not realistic and it is only a matter of time before another motorist is injured or killed as a result of the county’s deer overpopulation.

James Fitzpatrick,

Kings Park

The state appeals court decision in Hunters for Deer v. Town of Smithtown signaled to me a great victory for property rights. I believe the recent opposition letters from two Smithtown residents displays the "elitist" attitude and perspective harbored by the anti-hunting community. The 150-foot bow-and-arrow setback regulation was established based upon data confirming that bow hunting is safe. Moreover, the setback regulation has enabled communities to proactively address the unchecked explosion of the deer population that has caused car accidents, property damage and disease. Most impressive, the valuable public health service that deer hunting facilitates comes at zero cost to the public. Here’s the bottom line: Let property owners decide for themselves. In fact, to me, the anti-hunting faction should not say otherwise.

Christian Killoran,

Smithtown

Times have changed, haven’t they?

An op-ed by the late New York Mayor Ed Koch in Newsday’s reproduction of its Classic edition of Oct. 27, 2000 showed him commenting on appearances at the Alfred E. Smith dinner by both then-presidential candidates, Al Gore and George W. Bush. Koch wrote that "Gore and Bush are able men of conscience. But they differ in their policies," and Koch favored Gore’s policies. Can anyone imagine a person of red or blue or whatever persuasion today saying that of both presidential candidates?

Carl Grasso,

Huntington

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