The Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association has endorsed County Legislator Bridget Fleming in her campaign to represent New York’s First Congressional District.
Ms. Fleming’s campaign made the announcement on Friday. “As a former prosecutor, I know firsthand how important the police are to keeping our communities safe,” she said in a statement. “With crime rates far below the national average, Suffolk County continues to be one of the safest places in the country to live. As a county legislator, I have worked to ensure our police have the resources they need to keep our crime rates low.”
The campaign used the endorsement to criticize Ms. Fleming’s Republican opponent, Nick LaLota, charging that as a member of the Amityville Village Board he “supported a policy that would have cheated retiring officers out of their pensions,” “sought to cut funding for the police department,” and “even proposed abolishing the department altogether.”
Mr. LaLota “tried to dismantle the police department when he was a village trustee,” Ms. Fleming said in an interview earlier this month. Newsday reported in 2015 on a spending proposal that Mr. LaLota, as budget officer, said would save money “by abolishing the Amityville Police Department or by pursuing a middle course of concessions from the police union,” which he had long advocated.
Asked on Saturday to comment, Mr. LaLota’s campaign manager had not replied as of yesterday.
In other law enforcement announcements, the Police Conference of New York has endorsed Representative Lee Zeldin’s bid for governor. The P.C.N.Y. is the largest police organization in the state, comprising hundreds of local law enforcement unions and representing 50,000 people.
And the Police Benevolent Association of New York State announced its endorsement of Gov. Kathy Hochul for a full term. The association represents around 1,200 members of law enforcement in the State Agency Police Services Unit, including State University Police, the State Environmental Conservation Police, the State Park Police, and the State Forest Rangers.
Ms. Fleming and Mr. LaLota, and the governor, a Democrat, and Mr. Zeldin, her Republican and Conservative Party challenger, will face off in the Nov. 8 election.