Nassau lawmakers mull changes to police discipline policy

MINEOLA - Nassau legislators are considering a proposal that would change the way the county police department disciplines its officers after the "disgraceful" handling of a domestic murder case.The Legislature's presiding officer, Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa), says the police commissioner should get the final say on disciplinary actions for officers. Currently, an independent arbitrator gets to decide if the commissioner's recommended punishment should stick for PBA members.Schmitt says the issue was brought to the Legislature's attention after the Jo'Anna Bird case. The county had to pay a $7.7 million settlement to the woman's family after she was killed by her ex-boyfriend, whom she had an order of protection against. An internal police probe found that officers failed to investigate domestic violence calls in the months before her murder.PBA President James Carver says the proposed changes aren't fair to officers. He says independent arbitrators are needed to ensure officers get fair and balanced punishments.Lawmakers are expected to vote on the issue on May 6.Lawmaker: Internal Nassau PD report on Bird case 'disgusting'Nassau OKs $7.7M settlement for family of murder victimJoanna Bird's family demands results of police probe

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