Investigations ‘bolstered’ by taped interrogations

SAMANTHA BRIX FILE PHOTO | Martin Flatley was appointed Southold Town police chief in June 2011
SAMANTHA BRIX FILE PHOTO | Martin Flatley was appointed Southold police chief in 2011

Many of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s suggestions for more effective policing are already being implemented on the North Fork, according to Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley.

In his annual State of the State address Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Cuomo said he would push to have interrogations for major crimes videotaped and have police use better identification methods to confirm suspects.

But Chief Flatley said his police department and Suffolk County police use those tools now.

Though the Suffolk County Homicide Squad investigates killings on the North Fork, Chief Flatley said he believes they use videotaping in their interrogations.

If the Southold Police Department was investigating a serious offense, they’d work with the district attorney’s office to tape interrogations, he said.

He believes taping when suspects are being questioning helps prove suspects were not coerced or tricked into confessing to a crime they didn’t commit.

“To me, it’s only going to bolster our cases,” Chief Flatley said.

The police department also already uses the types of photo arrays suggested by Mr. Cuomo to have witnesses identify suspects, he said.

“We tend to use photo IDs a little bit more than the lineups,” he said, adding that most of the time, responding police officers will take a witness around an area immediately after a crime to try to locate suspects.

Suffolk County police officials were unable to be reached for comment.

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