Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on Monday announced the appointment of community members to precinct-level advisory boards, saying they were the final piece in his departmental reform program.
The Second Precinct group includes 12 members drawn from a variety of activities and roles in Huntington.
Bellone, who is term limited and leaving office in two weeks, to be succeeded by Executive-elect Ed Romaine, said the plan is, ““the most comprehensive of any suburban county in the state of New York.”
Reform and reconfiguration of pollce departments around the country came after a police office in Minneapolis killed George Floyd in 2020, leading to widespread protest and demand for changes in how police operate. In Huntington, marches by people demanding change went on for about a week.
“The launch of precinct level advisory boards will allow the Suffolk County Police Department to effectively address community concerns, foster new relationships with community leaders, expand the community engagement reach of each precinct, create community liaisons to field questions and concerns, and provide clear lines of communication between the department and the communities it serves,” Bellone’s office said.
Bellone also said that in 2024, social workers would work with 911 operators to asssess whether callers or situations required mental health assistance.
Named to the Second Precinct panel were:
Carineh Mendez, David Pinkowitz, Diane Schaber, Guillermo (Willie) Perez, Jim McGoldrick, June Margolin, Ken Johnson, Kevin Ortez, Lisa Hargrove, Rhonda Gooden, Terryl Dozier and Xavier Palacios.