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Bellone asked to ponder the future post election

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone speaks during a

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone speaks during a debate at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Public Library on Sept. 21. Credit: Danielle Silverman

Daily Point

What's next?

If Steve Bellone is successful in his bid for reelection next month as Suffolk County executive, term limits mean his time at the top of county government would come to an end by 2024. 

Given that there will be a gubernatorial election in 2022, The Point wondered whether Bellone would consider running for New York’s top office, particularly if incumbent Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo decides not to run. 

Bellone answered carefully during his endorsement interview with Newsday’s editorial board last week. He did not rule out the possibility of leaving before his county term was up, if he’s re-elected. 

“I am, as I’ve indicated here, very excited about the next four years,” he said, suggesting that he could accomplish a lot, but also that in his third term his administration would be able to “move very rapidly.” 

He then told a story about putting his young daughter Mollie to bed and that she asked him, “When are you done being county executive?”

She told him she wanted him to be home more. 

“I’m running because we dealt with multiple, multiple, multiple crises” over his time in office, he continued, from storms to MS-13 to the opioid epidemic. “My view is and my belief is you lead and you try to do the right thing.” 

Then, he added: “But, I can tell you this, if there were another position I would run for it would be an executive position."

Could that mean that he will make like former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, who tried a gubernatorial run and after losing the nomination to Eliot Spitzer ended  up as a member of Congress? 

These were Bellone’s final words on the subject: “I don't think I’m suited for the legislature."

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Talking Point

A connective thread to New York

Businessman Tom Steyer has made the next Democratic presidential contender debate in November, so he’ll have a second chance to introduce himself to America. Will he drop any more New York trivia, as he did with some biographical details in the last debate? 

He said his mother had worked at the Brooklyn House of Detention, one of the jail facilities slated for destruction and rebuilding via the city’s plan to close Rikers Island. This was part of Steyer’s answer to the question about his most surprising friend, a woman whose spirit he said reminded him of his parents.

The Point wanted to know more, so we looked at Steyer’s 1986 wedding announcement in The New York Times which notes his mother taught remedial reading at the jail. Her 1953 engagement announcement listed her as a producer of the American Newsreel who was formerly with Newsweek and Telenews Productions, Inc.

A 2011 Times article about Steyer and his brother’s growing philanthropy and political involvement says their mother “taught for years in public schools in Harlem and the South Bronx.”

Steyer calls her “fiery and emotional and intuitive” in that piece. 

The article also paints a bit more of the New York picture for Steyer’s early life. 

His and his brother’s early life “comes right out of ‘The Catcher in the Rye,’ ” minus its protagonist's angst,” the story notes. “They shared a bedroom in an apartment on New York's Upper East Side, attending the Buckley School, then Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale — where their father, Roy, had attended law school.”

New York’s only a big town for some. Who else was in that class? The father of the Manhattan district attorney, former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. 

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Pencil Point

A wild claim

For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/opinion

Final Point

More training for police

Criminal justice reformers have long pushed for new ways for police to respond to complex situations involving emotionally disturbed people. 

One effort has been Crisis Intervention Team training, which includes in-depth scenario-based role-playing to help teach deescalation. 

A reminder of the urgency of the issue came last month in Nassau County, when an Oceanside man with a samurai sword was shot and killed by police. A Nassau County Police Department spokesman, Richard LeBrun, said the two officers involved in the September shooting went through crisis-intervention training “based on their date of appointment.” 

The program is part of state-required training for police recruits (the NYPD is exempted due to its size), and both Nassau and Suffolk’s departments have additionally held separate trainings for officers. 

In the Suffolk County Police Department, 72 sworn members out 2,455 have received the weeklong training as of last month, around 3 percent. A spokeswoman says that additional training sessions are planned. 

LeBrun, the NCPD spokesman, says that in-service training was held this year for all 2,440 sworn members in four-hour blocks. 

In New York City, that training has been going on since 2015, and as of last month 15,000 officers, or around 40 percent of the force, had received it, The Point learned after querying the city. We asked because the stat seemed to have fallen out of the annual report card for city government, the Mayor’s Management Report. The city explained that the September report isn’t supposed to be a “complete review,” and the NYPD notes that first-line-of-defense patrol officers are prioritized for the training. 

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

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