Jon Kaiman releases positions on safety, policing

Brandon Duffy
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (left) and Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman (right) introduce Rodney Harrison, former New York City Chief of Department as the new Suffolk County Police Commissioner. (Photo courtesy of the candidate)

Jon Kaiman, the former North Hempstead Town Supervisor running for New York’s 3rd Congressional District, told Blank Slate Media extreme elements of the Democratic Party do not represent him and that they are compromising public safety.

Kaiman, 59, of Great Neck, ran the town from 2004 through 2013 and is currently the deputy executive for Suffolk County, a position he has held since 2017. Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who has represented the district since 2016, is running for governor.

Kaiman released a guidance document on public safety and police reform, stating his positions on a bevy of issues related to law enforcement.

“The Manhattan District Attorney who declared he will no longer prosecute most crimes that are committed in his jurisdiction, including violent crimes (as long as there is no severe injury), has disgraced his office, failed the public he serves, and forfeited the banner of the party that put him there,” Kaiman said in a statement.

Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg in January released a memo to staff that instructed prosecutors to avoid seeking jail time except for the most serious crimes, according to reports. The move prompted harsh criticism.

On Friday, Bragg released another memo that backtracks some of his previous positions, calling for stricter policing, according to multiple reports. 

Kaiman said the initial memo in January, “told the world that he stands with those who violate the law and that he will not protect the people of Manhattan, those who visit and those who do business there.”

In regards to bail reform, Kaiman believes it is time for laws to change in order to provide better resources for judges.

“Judges must have the discretion to impose bail in order to protect the public from an individual who poses a threat to the community or who is not likely to return to court,” Kaiman said. “That said, bail should not be imposed if an individual is not a threat to the public or a risk of flight. Immediate and ongoing auditing of bail determinations, as well as administrative oversight over the bail process, can be used to prevent unfair, improper, inappropriate or excessive bail.”

The Deputy Executive also says police personnel needs to be more involved in reform on the behalf of community safety.

“We must move forward with reform by working with advocates and experts, but also with the police command structure, police personnel, and their union representatives,” Kaiman said. “We need to stop making laws that affect public safety without public safety personnel at the table.”

Kaiman’s rivals for the Democratic nomination include Great Neck’s Robert Zimmerman, Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan, Oyster Bay’s Reema Rasool and Melanie D’Arrigo of Port Washington. 

George Santos and Kevin Surdi are seeking the Republican nomination.

After a redistricting vote held Wednesday, New York’s Third Congressional District includes parts of Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and Westchester Counties along with parts of The Bronx.

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