In an effort to cut back on spending, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Police Commissioner Thomas Dale announced Monday that four of the county's eight police precincts will be restructured.
Four precincts will remain intact while the remaining four will be transformed into new Community Policing Centers, Mangano said.
According to a release from the county, the in Seaford, Second Precinct in Woodbury, Third Precinct in Williston Park and Fourth Precinct in Hewlett will continue to operate as regular precincts, while the First Precinct in Baldwin, Fifth Precinct in Elmont, Sixth Precinct in Manhasset and Eighth Precinct in Levittown will become community policing centers.
The plan also eliminates more than 100 desk jobs and slashes "costly" built-in overtime benefits, Mangano said. A total of 48 police officers will be reassigned from desk jobs to Problem Oriented Police (POP) positions.
While the number of precincts and desk jobs will shrink, Mangano said the number of patrol cars will remain the same.
"Keeping residents safe is my number one priority," Mangano said. "This plan keeps all 177 patrols cars in their current neighborhoods, assigns more cops to POP and opens four new Community Policing Centers throughout the county while increasing efficiencies."
According to Nassau County Communications Director Brian Nevin, the timeline to complete the entire process will take approximately six months.
The majority of the Wantagh-Seaford area is covered by the Seventh Precinct but some portions are also covered by the First and Eighth Precincts.
(WSHA) president Ella Stevens expressed relief that the Seventh Precinct would remain open under Mangano’s plan.
“There is way too much activity in the Seventh Precinct for it to not remain open,” Stevens said.
The WSHA is holding a Wednesday night that will feature representatives from the Seventh Precinct addressing recent criminal activities in the area and Stevens is hoping they also can provide information on how Mangano’s plan will impact local residents who reside in the First and Eighth precincts.
“With the recent increase of crime in communities surrounding Wantagh and Seaford of course I am concerned that we have the necessary police force to protect our residents,” she said.
Mangano’s plan also corrects a workload imbalance that had been seen throughout the eight precincts, as three police precincts presently perform twice the workload of the remaining five precincts.
"This plan saves taxpayers significant dollars while streamlining duplicative work, redistributing workload and assigning more officers to POP and special patrol," Dale said. "... Residents should know that response time will not be impacted as police officers will remain in their current neighborhoods and additional officers will be assigned to our neighborhoods."
James Carver, president of the Nassau PBA, told 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera that he is going to fight the plan.
"We currently have eight police precincts and they're trying to tell everybody that having four police precincts is a better way to police Nassau County, well they're dead wrong on this," Carver said.
Andrew Coen contributed to this report.