In response to the op-ed "Police reform plan lets communities down" [Opinion, March 22], by community advocates for police reform regarding Nassau County’s plan, let me answer the question posed: Yes, reform matters. That is why we held more than 120 meetings and received more than 90 recommendations. That is why the Nassau County Police Department will have new biannual reporting to the Legislature of key data and new training models focusing on de-escalation. That is why the police will have a new body camera program and a two-tier program for mental health calls to promote less police involvement and more wraparound services.
These are just some reforms in our plan, and more have been approved by the county legislature and filed with the state, as required.
I applaud the community participants’ passion in this reform effort, and I thank them and Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder for ensuring extensive community input.
We will go forward now with a process of continual community involvement and review with no finish line in sight as we try to achieve the goal of state Executive Order 203 to reduce racial disparities in policing while maintaining Nassau County’s status as one of the safest communities in the United States.
Editor’s note: The writer is Nassau County executive.
School bus cameras indeed will help
I am responding to Albert Savoy’s letter "School bus cameras will hardly help" [March 22]. According to School Transportation News, an average of 17,000 children under the age of 17 visit emergency rooms for school-bus-related injuries yearly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 128 school-related transportation fatalities occur per year, and 98 school-age pedestrians were killed from 2007 to 2016 in school-transportation-related crashes.
So despite the writer’s "beliefs" and "bets" to the contrary, the dangers do exist. Drivers shouldn’t pass stopped school buses when their signs are up, period.
If cameras on the school buses prevent drivers from passing and save even one life, then they are worth it.
Albert Savoy’s letter, in my view, shows how selfish and lawless some people are. I’ve been a school bus driver in Suffolk County for more than 30 years. The aggressive, always rushing drivers have become an everyday nuisance to all of us. Add in all the driver distractions — cellphones, eating, reading, shaving, etc. — that make children vulnerable while getting on or off at their supposedly safe bus stops. The law says it’s safe, but is it really? The writer’s statement "I’ll bet cases of children injured by drivers who pass school buses are few to none," to me, is incredibly naive.
Before licensing or renewing, drivers should be given the statistics and shown the videos from bus cameras that I and all bus drivers watch at our safety meetings. Is it too much to ask for drivers to stop for the 30 to 45 seconds it takes at most stops? Apparently, setting a bedside alarm to go off a little earlier to leave for their busy day so they don’t feel pressured to disobey basic road safety laws is asking too much.
In his letter, Albert Savoy expresses his belief that children injured by drivers who pass stopped school buses are few and far between. When I read about the cameras being added to school buses, I was overjoyed. I cringe every time I witness reckless drivers around school buses because of my family’s past experience.
My parents lost their 7-year-old son getting off a school bus in 1968. I don’t know how many have been injured or killed since my brother died, but if the program saves even a single life, the effort will not be in vain.
Women’s soccer pay: Bottom line is money
The article "Women’s soccer stars join Biden at pay-gap forum," in my view, might be a bit away from reality — it’s all about the money, period [State & Nation, March 25]. If women’s soccer can prove it has as many people watching their games and has as many sponsors and fans as men’s soccer, equal pay would be fair. If the women’s game doesn’t bring in the revenue, why be paid as much as men’s teams that do? It may sound chauvinistic, but it is what it is. Men’s soccer evidently has more fans in the stands, watching on television and the internet, and listening on radio.
Just because a women’s team plays its heart out and wins doesn’t mean the players deserve to be paid the same as men. Unless all the sport’s money goes into a gigantic pool, they will get paid the going rate for their particular sport. It’s supply and demand. Men’s soccer brings in the money and, to me, that is the bottom line.