Suffolk lawmakers accused of playing politics with rapid response app

Posted: Updated:
HAUPPAUGE -

Democrats and Republicans in Suffolk County are accusing each other of playing politics when it comes to the safety of school children.

Tom Plant, a father of one from Deer Park, says he was upset to hear that Suffolk lawmakers rejected a bond that would've created a public safety rapid response project in county schools.

"The Rave Panic Button is one of the critical tools in the efforts to protect our schools," says Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. "It's a mobile app on a smartphone that quickly alerts law enforcement and first responders of an active shooter situation at the touch of a button."

Democrats and Republicans both say they agree that the app would be beneficial for all involved. It was the way the bond was brought to the table for a vote that has lawmakers on both sides pointing their fingers and playing the political blame game.

All seven Republican legislators voted against it because it was put up for a vote as what's called a "bundled bond." 

"Unfortunately the county executive chose to put that project in with other projects after we made it perfectly clear that we would not support bundled bonds," said Legislator Tom Cilmi, a Republican who's the minority leader.

In this case, that meant in order for lawmakers to approve the $2 million school safety project, they would also have to approve $3 million in renovations and improvements to the county's correctional facilities.

"The truth of the matter is -- in all likelihood this bond would have passed last night had it been separated out," Cilmi said.

Bellone says they're not "playing politics," but some residents disagree.

"At the end of the day, safety should be the main concern," Plant said.

Republican Legislator Robert Trotta says he plans introduce a bill for a "standalone bond" for the rapid response project.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro details his vision for NY

    GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro details his vision for NY

    Monday, September 17 2018 2:51 PM EDT2018-09-17 18:51:57 GMT
    Republican nominee for governor Marc Molinaro sat down with News 12 Long Island's Stone Grissom to discuss his vision for the future of New York.
    Republican nominee for governor Marc Molinaro sat down with News 12 Long Island's Stone Grissom to discuss his vision for the future of New York.
  • Raynor vows to be ‘approachable as public servant’ after upset victory

    Raynor vows to be ‘approachable as public servant’ after upset victory

    Friday, September 14 2018 4:52 PM EDT2018-09-14 20:52:18 GMT
    Raynor said she would make herself available to constituents, something many say her predecessor did not do.Raynor said she would make herself available to constituents, something many say her predecessor did not do.

    Raynor said she would make herself available to constituents, something many say her predecessor did not do.

    Raynor said she would make herself available to constituents, something many say her predecessor did not do.

  • Raynor declared victor in 18th Assembly District Democratic primary

    Raynor declared victor in 18th Assembly District Democratic primary

    Thursday, September 13 2018 11:10 PM EDT2018-09-14 03:10:56 GMT

    Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs declared political newcomer Taylor Raynor the victor Thursday night in the Democratic primary race for New York state's 18th Assembly District seat.

    Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs declared political newcomer Taylor Raynor the victor Thursday night in the Democratic primary race for New York state's 18th Assembly District seat.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."