FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 8, 2012
County Police Debrief Town and Village Officials on Merger Plan
MEDIA CONTACTS: Collin Nash & Sid Nathan | (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead, NY – Nassau County Deputy County Executive Rob Walker and Deputy Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter presented County Executive Ed Mangano’s plan to close four police precincts throughout Nassau County to Town and Village officials in North Hempstead Town Hall board room on Wednesday morning.
Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman invited the county to present its plan to local officials who had many questions and concerns about the controversial plan. Over 20 villages were represented through their mayors and trustees, while state and federal legislators also sent representatives to the meeting.
County legislators Judy Bosworth and Wayne Wink both expressed concerns about the plan, focusing on the limited information they had received and the quick pace in which the plan was being moved to a vote before the county legislature. Deputy County Executive Roby Walker and Deputy Police Commissioner both highlighted the cost savings that the county would achieve, while insisting that public safety would not be compromised.
Four of the county’s eight precincts would be converted to community policing centers with minimal staffing 24 hours a day. The remaining four precincts would receive additional police support to carry the additional load. The County executive’s plan would result in a reduction of over 150 police officers, although 48 officers would be reassigned back to police duties.
Several of the mayors raised questions relating to the possible reduction in police presence and the need to find alternative ways to save money. Mayor Kreitzman, president of the Nassau County Village Officials Association, remained concerned about the impact that the county plan would have on his and neighboring villages and wanted more feedback from mayors throughout the county as soon as possible.
In regard to the plan itself, the four remaining precincts would be: The Seventh in Massapequa/Massapequa Park, the Second in Woodbury, the Third in Williston Park, and the Fourth in Hewlett. The remaining four locations, the Fourth in Baldwin, the Fifth in Elmont, the Eighth in North Massapequa, and the Sixth Precinct in Great Neck/Manhasset, would operate as community policing centers.
The community policing centers, where the public could conduct business such as getting accident reports, would be manned around the clock by two police officers. They would not process arrests or handle administrative matters.
“It’s not about closing precincts,” said Thomas Krumpter, First Deputy Commissioner of the Nassau County Police Department. “We have 177 cars on the street today and we will have 177 cars on the street tomorrow.”
Commissioner Krumpter also announced at the meeting that Highway Patrol units would operate out of the 6th precinct in the future. He discussed how the proposal will cut expenses without compromising public safety by using more technology and intelligence-based policing, a direction the Department was already heading in.
The County has invested a lot of resources in intelligence, he said, pointing to a twelve-man detective unit. He said many of the duties previously conducted in the precinct house are now processed via computerized patrol cars. The county plan is expected to save a total of $20 million.