Hauppauge, NY - December 18, 2013 - Today, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved (16-0) the Department of Justice Agreement with the Suffolk County Police Department. This agreement represents how far Suffolk County has come since the initial investigation into the tragic death of Marcelo Lucero.
“This unanimous vote demonstrates that Suffolk County is united to become a more inclusive, tolerant place where all residents can continue to have confidence in our law enforcement community,” said County Executive Bellone. “When I came into office two years ago, I was determined to work in a collaborative partnership with the Department of Justice to ensure all Suffolk County residents have trust in their police department. This agreement memorializes and builds upon the progress we have made throughout my administration to improve relations with ethnically diverse communities, ensure language access for all Suffolk County residents, and prioritize community led policing. Including this agreement, we have made a number of important steps forward toward a more inclusive Suffolk County, such as hiring the first female and African-American Deputy Police Commissioner, implementing an historic language access policy, conducting several community policing forums and prioritizing work to combat recidivism. I would like to thank the Department of Justice for their professionalism and working with us in a collaborative manner to ensure justice for all Suffolk County residents.”
“The steps being implemented in accordance with the agreement will strengthen the Suffolk County Police Department’s relationship with the community and the people we proudly serve and protect,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Edward Webber said. “Our goal and the goal of the Department of Justice are the same—to protect the rights of all people, while ensuring that communities have trust and confidence in their police department.”
Statements of Support:
Luis Valenzuela, Executive Director, Long Island Immigrant Alliance-“ LIIA sees the agreement as a step in the right direction. LIIA continues to offer assistance to the County in the implementation and monitoring of the accord.”
Javier Valdes, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, said: "Since taking office in 2012, County Executive Bellone has taken important strides forward with immigrant communities, including passing and implementing an executive order on language access that will improve police-community relations. We're excited to continue working with County Executive Bellone to continue making Suffolk a more welcoming county for all."
Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, Executive Director, Long Island Wins- “The Department of Justice agreement takes important steps to build bridges between the community and the police department. Most importantly, we need to make sure that all crimes against all members of the community will be thoroughly investigated without regard to the race or ethnicity of the victim.”