WOODBURY - He hasn't been sworn into office yet, but County Executive-elect Steve Bellone (D-Suffolk) has already identified his top priority: Getting the police department back on track.
Bellone says one of his goals is to improve relationships between the county's law enforcement departments.
"The police department is demoralized and in many ways dysfunctional," he says.
Bellone's comments come just days after Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota publicly accused Police Commissioner Richard Dormer of mishandling the investigation into the Gilgo Beach murders.
But Bellone's concerns don't end there. He says County Executive Steve Levy's (R-Suffolk) decision to replace police patrols on the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway with deputy sheriffs pitted the two departments against each other.
In response, Levy released a statement saying that the move has saved the county money because sheriffs make less than police.
Among Bellone's other big priorities will be fighting the heroin epidemic in Suffolk and bringing down the gangs.