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Nassau Legislature Votes to Merge Police Precincts

The measure passed Monday, 10-9 with legislators voting along party lines.

Dubbed by some as "the most important vote in the history of the Nassau County Legislature," the plan to merge eight police precincts into four was approved Monday afternoon.

The vote to realign the precincts was expectedly passed by a 10-9 final tally, with each legislator voting along party lines.

Prior to the vote, Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams grilled newly appointed Commisioner Thomas Dale on the plan, saying that the legislature shouldn't be voting on something that is constantly "in flux."

The nine Democratic members of the legislature focused their argument against the realignment on the concept that it simply wasn't ready. Abrahams attempted to table the vote on the precinct plan until more details were made available, but the motion was voted down by the legislature and, eventually, the realignment was approved.

"I commend the county legislature for approving this public safety plan that adds more police officers to our community and protects residents from a property tax hike," Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said in a statement. "... This is a win-win for residents as it results in more safety and not more taxes."

The Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, like Abrahams, cited numerous problems with Mangano's plan to merge precincts.

Last week, it was announced that the county had postponed its vote on the merger after "progressive" discussions with law enforcement unions over the weekend.

PBA President Jim Carver said Monday that the PBA and county had made "a lot of strides" in the last week while negotiating. He continued by saying that the legislature should take at least another week to think the decision through and give both sides more time to negotiate.

"In my opinion, this was not ready to be voted on," Carver said. "... They were not listening to anybody's argument, they just wanted to vote 'yes' to close the precincts -- that's it."

After the vote, Carver told Patch that he will continue to work with Mangano and his administration on fixing some of the perceived errors in the county executive's plan.

Moe March 09, 2012 at 06:30 AM
James, there are a lot of contributing factors to overtime, staffing is but one and you are correct, this plan should not affect staffing overtime. Overtime however will rise in areas such as prisoner processing, transporting and end of tour overtime. An officer getting a call in Great Neck can get back to Manhasset in 5 minutes, that same officer can now get a call on Hempstead Tpke at the end of the tour and he will be paid overtime just to drive back to his relieving point. There is currently barely enough room in the precincts to do the necessary paperwork it takes to process an arrest. Officers will be sitting around with their prisoners waiting for a computer to open up. In addition, the time officer in each precinct is currently responsible to monitor the overtime for about 200 + officers. You will now be giving that same person 200+ more officers to watch over. That is where you will see the biggest increase in overtime. Unlike in an office setting where there is probably only one way to get overtime, there are too many factors that cause overtime in the police department and they all have to be monitored, arrests, calls for service, court, training, etc... One person cannot do that job. They will realize that eventually and then without telling the public they will just bring the officers back in off the street to do the jobs they were doing before. So Gabe is correct when he says there will be an increase in overtime, it's unavoidable.
Moe March 09, 2012 at 06:44 AM
Bestoftwo, that's a pretty narcissistic point of view about the precincts not being necessary. If you have never needed the jaws of life to pry you from the wreckage of a car then we should also eliminate the Emergency Services Unit? You have never drowned, so let's get rid of the Marine Bureau as well? Your child has never been lost? Well then let's get rid of the Canine Unit. And since the precincts are so useless then let's just get rid of all of them, if you don't need them then no one does right? You will of course allow them to use your living room to process prisoners and hold juvies while they wait for mommy to come get them. They also need your kitchen to investigate cases and could you please clean out your garage so that they can invoice property and store records, etc... Also, if you could provide us with your phone number they can link all incoming calls from the station house to your home. Thanks, you have just saved us taxpayers a TON of money!
Helen March 10, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Okay, this whole thread has gone way off track and into fantasy land. Let's keep the sanity and lose the ridiculous. The vote is over. Now, we must wait and see what, if anything, will happen on many levels... This whole vote to close the precincts has brought out the best of ideas and the worst in others. NCPD is a sore subject. We have our supporters and we have our haters. So be it, we agree to disagree. The whole point of having a police force is for the prevention of crime and to help the public in need. Whatever the current stature of the department is, it is. As for what future contracts hold, who knows? We all put our 2 cents in. We all have ideas on what we believe will work and not. Can we move on now? What's the next popular thread going to be? School taxes and teacher salaries? That's in the not too distant future. We are all here on the same island. Who stays and who goes - who knows? Life isn't always what we thought it would be. Deal with it, or figure out a way to change it.
paul March 23, 2012 at 02:37 AM
The below is a repost to the Merrick Patch. Not sure why but it was removed for an unknown reason. What is your opinion, we want to know.. "I am not an attorney, but is there the possibility of a lawsuit as to whether or not the public was bamboozled. And whether or not the vote was proper..... I think it may be possible for an injunction to take place if a lawsuit is brought against the county..... Just thinking out loud....... Any opinions...."
john k April 10, 2012 at 02:21 PM
i agree lorenzo. how does a jail cook become sheriff? patronage!

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