Dated: Saturday June 19, 2021
Much has recently been said regarding the charges brought against New Rochelle Police Detective Michael Vaccaro by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, with the police union indicating their sense of outrage in their belief that the charges, which are related to a February 15, 2021 off-duty incident, are politically motivated.
However, the union fails to state that the investigation conducted BY THEIR OWN POLICE DEPARTMENT found that Detective Vaccaro had acted inappropriately and, had in fact, referred the matter to the District Attorney’s Office for further review and possible criminal charges.
What all, including the PBA, must recognize and accept is the fundamental premise that there can be no faith in a system that views itself as being privileged merely because its members are often faced with difficult and dangerous tasks. There can be no confidence or trust of those whose job it is to protect and serve, if they are not held to the standards that their institutions have set before them. Nor can there be any true sense of legitimacy in a profession whose members are not held accountable for their actions.
Accountability, equal and fair treatment, and responsible policing are signature beliefs of the members and Board of Directors of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc. And no one, not even and especially, those whose job it is to enforce the law, is above the law.
We applaud the actions of District Attorney Mimi Rocah, whom we have found to be above reproach in her attitudes towards fairness and equal justice for all. We as well commend the service of the other New Rochelle Police officers who were involved in this incident, as they appear to have acted appropriately, fairly, and professionally.
The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc, a 501.(c).(3) non-profit, is a premier national organization representing the interests and concerns of African American, Latino and other criminal justice practitioners of color serving in law enforcement, corrections, and investigative agencies throughout the United States, and the communities in which they serve.
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