Ringing in a new year comes not only with celebrations, but also with ideas of what we could do better in the future. While thinking of personal resolutions, we can also begin to think of resolutions for the towns we live in and the people who serve them.
The Suffolk County Police Department went through some major changes in 2015. Shortly before the year ended, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) tapped Tim Sini for police commissioner in light of the recent investigation and indictment of former Police Chief James Burke, who has been accused of beating a handcuffed suspect and attempting to cover up the crime.
This week, former SCPD Sgt. Scott Greene began the first of two trials for allegedly stealing cash from Hispanic motorists during vehicle and traffic stops. He is being charged with seven counts of larceny as a hate crime.
A good place to start for a 2016 resolution could be within the county’s police department.
We hope that Sini will function with transparency as he takes on his new role and keep the lines of communication with the public as open as possible. We also hope he will work well and collaborate with the Republican legislators who have already challenged his appointment.
2015 was a huge year for substance abuse programs and drug summits as well. Officials, from town board members to congressmen, lent their voice to what many are calling an epidemic. While these programs have made great strides, it seems the younger generation, where the fight is really happening, seem least connected to these talks.
Going forward, focusing on drug programs that reach high school and college students may be the best bet. Although the winter break is coming to a close, spring break is right around the corner, and, soon enough, those students will be right back on our couches, enjoying a week off. That could be the perfect time to bend their ears.
As a community, we can make 2016 better than any year before it. Let’s work together to make that happen.