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Nassau Police Precinct Merger: Community Policing Centers (UPDATED)

What role will the community policing centers play in the county's precinct realignment?

Story updated at 10:05 a.m. on March 21.

After last week's approval by the Nassau Legislature, the ball is officially rolling on County Executive Ed Mangano's police precinct realignment, something the county's Police Benevolent Association says "is going to change policing for the next 50 years."

The plan calls for the county's eight precincts to be merged into four, as well as the elimination of more than 100 desk jobs and cuts in "costly" built-in overtime benefits.

According to the county, the Eighth Precinct will be converted into a community policing center approximately 30 days after legislative approval – which sets the prospective date for April 4.

The community policing centers have been a topic of concern for many residents and PBA officials, who are uncertain of their role in the overall realignment and just how long they will be in place for.

"I don’t believe that those substations will stay open for very long," PBA President Jim Carver told Patch. "Wait until Mangano’s re-election comes about and then they’ll be eliminating [the community policing centers] to save more money."

According to the PBA, at one of the first community meetings, Deputy County Executive Rob Walker said that within a year, the county might realize that they don't need the community centers, so they would consider selling those buildings.

The county responded by saying the PBA took the quote out of context. According to the county, Walker stated that they move the facilities to other communities and, if this occurs, the county and Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) would work with the communities to determine the best possible location.

In a statement to Patch, the county originally said that the community policing centers would have two people assigned to them. However, earlier this week, Newsday [paid link] confirmed that the policing centers would now have "up to 10 officers" in them at any given time.

The staffing complement at the community policing centers will include two desk officers on duty on each of two 12-hour shifts, Krumpter said. There will also be two detectives assigned during each of two 12-hour shifts.

According to Newsday, there will also be at least two supervisors and two Problem-Oriented Police (POP) officers who respond to community concerns.

The county also maintains that it will accommodate residents as necessary should the situation arise, claiming that the NCPD will remain a "service-orientated department."

"We will respond to the complainant's house or the policing center to meet the complainant," the county said in a statement. "If necessary we will transport the complainant to the precinct."

However, Carver's concerns continued on to the officers that would be working in the policing centers. The PBA president said that when police officers get hurt, sometimes they go on "light duty" and that these are the officers that the county wants at the policing centers. He believes that this will be a problem if an incident were to occur at the precinct.

Again, the county countered by saying this will be no different from the current format.

"Currently there are frequently situations where members who are working in a station on the desk are on restricted duty," the county said. "Quite often we have four to five members on the desk who are on restricted duty when there are only three posts."

This is the third part of our series on the plan to merge the precincts in Nassau County. Check back with Patch for more on this special report.

Merrick7 April 02, 2012 at 06:12 AM
It is ironic that unions say this is the fault of wall street. Do you know the reason that benefits were able to be so great with so few contributions to pensions in NYS and pay so high was because Wall Street profits were so unusually high for the past ten years. This allowed the pension managers to switch the pensions into riskier investments for greater returns to keep contributions rates low for union workers and allowed municipalities not to raise taxes higher. Now that Wall Street profits are at normal returns and the pension system is recovering we now must contribute what should always have been the level before. The rest of the nation and companies show the current contribution rates and high pay for union members in Nassau at all levels is abnormally high and contributions ridiculously low. Average insurance rates hover for public contributions between 30 and 50 percent. As an example, NCPD contribute ZERO to insurance. This is highly unusual to anywhere else in the country. The number of sick days is higher than ANYWHERE in both publci and private sector at high or low paying jobs. I read everyday. saw the Inside Job. I read newspapers and articles and budget proposals and bills everyday. It is not going on under our noses. It is right in front of our eyes.
Merrick7 April 02, 2012 at 06:21 AM
This is not pennies!! this is thousands upon thousands of dollars coming out of our pockets for pay to union workers who claim their compensation is middle class pay. The average Nassau County household makes between 70 to 90 thousand dollars a year, out of these salaries they must purchase health insurance and create their own accounts to save for retirements on their own. The AVERAGE union workers make more than this, with the exception of the CSEA. However they all get health insurance packages paid for separate from their pay. These insurance packages are the BEST, often called cadillac coverage. The average cost no matter how good the deal is worth more than 20 thousand dollars a year with little to no contribution. This makes the average union workers making more for their household than the average resident will make in their lifetime, after only 20 some odd years on the job. If laid off or forced into early retirement they get HUNDREDS of thousands in payouts for unused sick days and pay. Those that retire get pensions for life that never will disappear of their former salaries, which are guaranteed no matter the financial crisis. Of this upper middle class retired pay and not mention the cadillac health coverage remains for them AND their families. Also this retired pay from pensions does NOT GET TAXED. Unlike any other taxpaying resident.
Merrick7 April 02, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Also the crisis was not created by Wall street but my changed laws and encouragement by government for unrealistic and unaffordable subprime mortgages to people who would never be able to pay them so they could own a house. Who supported this and encouraged it ironically lobbied by special interest groups, including UNIONS. Banks were not actually the biggest lobbyists of these changes to allow these subprime mortgages. Many actually said they were not a safe investment but were incredibly risky to paraphrase a few major banks. It is the government's responsibility to manage and regulate essential services such as mortgages and banking laws. Special interests and lobbyists, including unions encouraged this deregulated environment, to support the poor and lower middle class noble in some ways and in others to help drive up the stock market to help union accounts portfolios which also suffered hugely in the market, it is also helped their pensions get greater returns so they could negotiate for lower contribution rates, because the taxpayer would not be burdened with the costs thanks to high returns.
s April 07, 2012 at 03:17 PM
I love all the nonsence that is being written regarding the police dept. People like to judge others when they do not know what they go through. Ask yourself this....When you go to work do you need a BULLET PROOF VEST? Do you have to have a GUN on you? Do you have people try o HURT or KILL you just because of what you wore to work? Do you kiss your family goodbye knowing in the back of your mind that it may be the last time you see them? Police officers respond to your house when YOU have an emergency! They run IN when others are running out!!! None of the police officers I know from Nassau are living in Mansions on the north shore or out in the Hamptons. They don't live the lavish life that the politicians would like you to believe. They live in middle class towns. I never hear people complain about how much there Doctor,Lawyer,Accountant or Dentist makes. Next time you feel a police officer makes to much, don't call 911 and put there lives at risk call your doctor or lawyer to come to your house when its being burglarized!!!!!
Grifhunter April 07, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Hey S. Lots of people risk their lives every day when they go to make a living. Roofers, crane operators, seamen, miners, oil rig workers, bridge workers, truckers, trainyard workers, electric lineman, all risk their lives everyday. The police job should be paid according to what the market will bear, just like ay other occupation. How many applications are there for a Suffolk or Nassau police position? Tens of thousands. With that kind of labor supply, they should be paid way less. The proof is how many people take cop jobs at half these salaries in other areas around the state and nation. The only reason our cops are so overpaid is because of crooked political dealings with cop unions, and irrational hero worship from people like you. And by the way, your doctor lawyer accountant and everyone else not on the public teat competes in the marketplace for his salary from paying customers, taking financial risks, getting up everyday not knowing if their jobs/income will be trashed due to someone undercutting their fees or stealing their business. No 35 hour workweeks, overtime, money for clothes/equipment, paid full retirment after 20(!) years, right to carry a gun accross the country, and other assorted guarantees and perks. No one is asking cops to work for free (like volunteer firemen who also run into danger), however, their insane salaries are why the cost of living in long island is so high.
Mac April 07, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Grifthunter your argument is flawed each of those people who put their life at risk do not willingly respond to emergencies, criminal behavior and violence on any given shift. Are those jobs all dangerous ABSOLUTELY but when you are required to wear a vest and carry a gun to work the stakes are different. Police earn what they make it is the benefits that are killing us. Secondly you are so wrong about the doctors not living of our "teat". why do you think the insurance premiums are so high? I went to the doctor last week to get a shot for arthritis. It was billed as a surgical procedure and charged my insurance 645.00 then a fee of 175.00 for the actual medicine in the shot combined with an administration fee. Total time seeing the doctor was less than 5 minutes. yes they are living off us. Insurance premiums go up as do the ridiculous prices charged by doctors.
s April 07, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Are you SERIOUS!!!Yes those jobs are dangerous but tell me how many have been KILLED in the line of duty?!?! You say all these people take the test, yeah they do then the departments can take the best candidates and hire them. Tens of thousands make take the test but only hundreds get hired. How can you say that the doctors, lawyers are not living off the public teat. Mac said it right...Who do you think is driving the cost of healthcare through the roof???? I love how you mention carrying a gun is a perk anywhere. Who do you think is going to come to YOUR aid when you get robbed walking down the street? Not the person in the private sector the cop who is off duty and is carrying his gun. The reason living on long island is so high is the school taxes. I can get rid of all my town, county and Fire department taxes and i'm still left with a $7000.00 tax bill. The police have always been the easy target and its very ignorant!!!!
Grifhunter April 07, 2012 at 07:20 PM
About 14 occupations have a higher FATALITY rate than law enforcement. http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2009/09/police-have-dangerous-jobs-but-some.html If you don't like what your doctor charges, you can shop around for someone who will work for less. Thats all the citizens of Long Island want- the ability to pay less for a service. Since plenty of people will sign up to work on the job (as evidenced by hundreds of departmenst paying less across the state and nation), we should be shopping for a better, cost effective deal. Hey, and same with teachers. If my 911 call can be answered by someone who tops out at half the six figure salary that Nassau cops get, why wouldn't I be for it. And don' t say you get better, more honest cops in Nassau. Seen the headlines lately?
Grifhunter April 07, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I repeat, about 14 jobs are more dangereous and have a higher DEATH rate. http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2009/09/police-have-dangerous-jobs-but-some.html
Fish Hunter April 30, 2012 at 08:34 PM
FYI nassau cops do not wear ballistic resistant vests.
paul April 30, 2012 at 09:16 PM
To Grifhunter: You may have posted that link, but do you belive that a person that takes a job as a police officer is not as risky to ones life? Get a reality check. You can use a check up from the neck up...
Scott May 01, 2012 at 01:47 AM
The reality is that police get paid, not for what they do each day, but for what they may have to do. Carrying a weapon may sound like a cool perk, however, it actually means that at any second they may have to use it. They may have to, in a split second, decide whether to fire or not. That split second decision will then be judged by all the Monday morning quarterbacks who have the advantage of knowing what the outcome of the shooting was and form their opinions accordingly. God forbid the cop(s) are wrong and they're tried in the press. Their life is over. Justified or not, they will have to live with the fact they took a life. No matter how macho they are, killing someone is never easy and they will second guess their actions for life. You can't fault them for wanting to keep what they have. It's their livelihood. I may be wrong, but if any of us were in their position, I don't think we would be like "yes, take half my compensation away through salary cuts and benefit contributions. I know there is an economic crisis in this county and I must help by making sacrifices. Sure I'll be forced to sell my house, trade my car for a scooter, and take my kids out of karate, but it's my duty to help everyone else. "
Scott May 01, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I don't have all the answers on how to reign in costs so there is a significant affect on taxes, however, I can pick one thing to start. Stop having the cops drive the ambulances to the hospital. The NCPD ambulances have 1 medic on board. When they get a call for a medical emergency, the ambulance and 2 police cars are dispatched to the scene. Because there is only one medic, the police have to stay for the duration of the call and while 1 cop drives the ambulance to the hospital, the other follows in the patrol car so he can bring the driver back to the scene. These calls average about an hour. So for every medical emergency, we lose the service of 2 cops for about an hour. A job a basic EMT could do for $15 per hour and maybe even per diem so we don't have to pay benefits. You could even justify less patrol cars on the road each tour, or gain the benefit of freeing those cars up to tackle the many problems we have in this county.
Grifhunter May 01, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Oh please. Millions of civilians carry guns, and they do so willingly, eagerly and for free. And if they have a violent confrontation, they will be evaluated the same or harsher for the consequences. Look at the focus on here on cop guns and their "bullet proof" vests and dying on the job. How does that pertain to the desk jockey cop who, while earning $144,000 a year, shoplifted baby food? Face it. So long as there are thousands, who with full qualifcations and ability will take the same patrol job for half the money, there is no economic sense in paying twice that. All the cop buffs and family members on here who think it does make economic sense to pay them six figures, how about you all pony up and donate an extra ten or twenty thousand each year to your local precint for the benefit of the "boys"?
Mitch May 01, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Cut their salaries and top them out at 85k per year- It's still a great deal- you'll collect a 1/2 pay pension and FULL medical for the rest of your life- how many folks have a deal like this ?
Scott May 01, 2012 at 02:08 PM
To Grifhunter: Are you honestly comparing a civilian, who carries a gun, to a police officer in terms of responsibility? A civilian is under NO obligation whatsoever to take any action, at any time. They can run away from a confrontation and they don't intentionally enter dangerous situations. Police run in when others run out and they are definitely held to a higher standard than civilians. A police officer, if wrong in firing their weapon at a person, can be tried, not only in NYS criminal court, but Federal Court for violating the person's civil rights. A civilian can not be tried for that. By the way, a bullet proof vest isn't 100%. Many cops are killed when the bullet hits beneath the vest into the abdomen or pelvis, the head/face/neck, or legs. If the vest does take the hit, the vest can indent an inch or more, shattering ribs or the breast bone, causing internal injuries. Certainly better than dying, but it's not a benign event.  Unless the baby food stealing cop was on restricted duty, he could be called upon at any moment to go out on the road, so the same arguments about responsibility would apply to him. Cops get paid the same regardless of their assignment just as a private in the Marine Corp would get the same pay whether he/she was riding a desk in a base in Kuwait, or on the ground fighting in Afghanistan. Believe me, I'm not defending this jackass as it pertains to him stealing. My guess, that he has a severe drug or gambling issue.
Scott May 01, 2012 at 02:14 PM
It seems to me that you simply hate cops. It's no more a logical prejudice than lets say hating all blacks, Jews, Hispanics, or gays. My guess is your hate stems, at least in part, from jealousy. You can't stand the fact that cops get to carry guns, drive through traffic with lights and sirens, and more importantly I think, have the power to pull you over, write you a ticket, arrest you, or tell you what to do. You probably rail against all authority. As far as cutting their pay in half. Let's face it, it ain't gonna happen.  Since it will never be acceptable for cops to be allowed to strike then binding arbitration will always be there and no arbitrator will agree to 50% pay cut. There are other things that can be done, however.  Perhaps in a new contract, there could be a stipulation that they all contribute some monies to their benefits. New hirees can have a new step scale so it takes 10 years to reach top pay instead of 5. New hirees could also have a restructured pension plan.  Implement my idea about getting cops out from behind the ambulance steering wheel and you'll cut out a chunk of overtime.  The fact is that there are so many people out of work today, that if you cut pay to $50,000 with benefits, you would still find people to take it. Certainly, the more qualified candidates who could fair better in the private sector, might just do that.
Mitch May 01, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Whatever happened to the Nassau cop Richard Hefferon who pulled his gun out on a bartender while he was bombed off his ass in Farmingdale bar ? Probably a slap on the wrist and he's back to work- If I did this I'd be in the slammer.
Mitch May 01, 2012 at 02:27 PM
That story conveniently faded away- I'd like to know if my tax dollars are still paying this pigs salary, benefits and pension.
Scott May 01, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Of course you would. You probably dont have a permit to carry a pistol. Personally, I feel he should be charged with menacing and with whatever administrative violations of the Department's rules an procedures that apply. If found guilty, he should be forced to resign or fired. Their policy of arbitration for offenses which would result in more than a couple weeks suspension is ludicrous. I can understand why they don't want to allow just the Commissioner to have the only say, but maybe instead, they could have a committee made up of Supervisors, and Police Officers to hear theses cases and render judgement.
Mitch May 01, 2012 at 02:32 PM
We all know Cops are above the law- I'd bet you a dollar nothing happened to this guy. The truth is he should have been fired on the spot.
Grifhunter May 01, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Fact: police are under no legal obligation to take action to prevent a violent crime. Fact: civilians are routinely convicted of civil rights violations in Federal Court. Fact: Nassau police arre overpaid far beyond the rate necessary to secure qualified patrol officers. You are not getting anything for paying more- so in these budget stretched times why do it? Your answer is because they carry a gun and a vest? So does the $75k a year cops throughout the state and country.
An tUasal Airgead May 01, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Still on the job, as of 4 days ago according to this News Editorial report http://cveditorials.com/LI/2012/04/27/barroom-gun-play/
Helen May 01, 2012 at 09:48 PM
@ Scott - great idea with the EMT in lieu of PO driving ambulance. Aside from the waste of time/dollars - the fact that we lose an officer in case of emergency is at the core of that statement. No one would EVER take a pay cut as suggested by others that the NCPD do, however; I agree that new hires should not get the same deal as in years past. NYPD new hires have far less than those grandfathered in....times change and we're not seeing any better times without changes....remember though, the investments that the unions made did not pay off - just like 'your' pension and mine, we all took hits in recent years thanks to Wall Street - so let's get off the rant of it being the cop's fault - and realize that there is more, as usual, than the glossy headlines. When we get to that magical age of deciding what we want to be when we grow up - no one forced us into one career or another - everyone made choices......some are pleased with theirs, and others may have regrets....what will be, will be.
Scott May 01, 2012 at 10:31 PM
@ Helen - thanks for the compliment and you're right on target with the rest of your statement.
Helen May 02, 2012 at 09:15 PM
@ Scott - you are welcome. I appreciate the highly engaging debates we have on these boards - ignoring the rhetoric and peanut gallery - we've been putting our collective heads together. Now, hopefully change will eventually come.... Not just here with this discussion - but in all facts of our lives we need to do several things which only we can do if we want to - the first being a responsible person who does the best they can with what the have. Second - we need to look beyond what the news tells us - hey, what's the difference if it comes from your tv or paper or ME? Who says they are correct? Who says I am? Find the story - the whole story and then decide. The pool is always deeper when you are outside of it. Finally, we need to be mature and listen to other's opinions and thoughts. If we attack then the others will become defensive and rightfully so. (stepping off soap box now).
mike reed May 08, 2012 at 07:48 PM
nassau cops are nothing more than high paid crossing guards. with all these cops pulling guns on bartenders, covering up friends crimes, and having sex on duty in vans, they should use closed up precincts as day care centers for those whose guns were taken away. akin to the rubber room for teachers. don't get me started.
mike reed May 08, 2012 at 08:20 PM
if what you say is correct about being held to a higher standard, then why hasn't the cop who pulled his gun on a bartender not arrested. the cops were called and just because the bartender didn't want to press charges, the video would have been shown to a grand jury (if it weren't destroyed or lost) and the cop would have been indicted. do you think the other cop would have lied for wyatt earp knowing a video existed. a blue line does exist but a video is worth a lot more than a thousand words and the other cop would not risk his neck. fire him and let him try stealing babyfood.
mike reed May 08, 2012 at 08:28 PM
the binding arbitration provision expires in 2014. lets see what happens then. a two tier pay system will be adopted until all the lame and lazy retire. hopefully, we'll return this county to a position of stability. bonuses, longevity, etc out the door. selling back unpaid sick and vacation pay is another scam. it doesn't happen in the private sector.
mike reed May 08, 2012 at 08:37 PM
he broke the law. let a judge decide his fate, not other cops. a civilian would have been arrested on the spot charged with attempted murder in addition to numerous other charges where he couldn't make bail. it is really appalling to see so many cops involved in incidents of varying degrees and released without bail and given the opportunity to retire to save their pensions and perks. they are not above the law, in fact, since they are took an oath to uphold the law, they should be punished to a higher degree to send a message to others that it is not worth it.

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