The proposal of the Village of Mineola starting its own police force was a long and arduous process that came to a conclusion last week when residents ultimately turned down the proposal. Here is a look at the history of the journey that ended with the residents' decision.
June 2003 - Mineola Mayor Jack M. Martins first mentions the idea that the village would look into the feasibility of having its own police department.
May 2004 - Mayor Martins appoints a task force to look into the feasibility of having a village police force. The task force includes residents with a wealth of experience in law enforcement. The man appointed to head the task force is retired New York City Police Detective John Curry.
November 2005 - The Task Force issues its report that it is both legal and economically feasible for the village to establish its own police force.
December 2005 - First hearing on the proposal for a Mineola police force held.
January 2006 - The mayors of Lynbrook, Floral Park, Malverne and Rockville Centre testify at another police hearing. The mayors say having a police department is expensive but they wouldn't give it up.
February 2006 - Mayor Martins is furious when he learns that Hometown Party trustees Linda Fairgrieve and Paul Cusato met with Nassau Police Commissioner James Lawrence without his or the other trustees' knowledge. Fairgrieve and Cusato obtain the commissioner's response to the task force's feasibility study.
March 2006 - Mayor Martins cancels all discussions on the police until after the village election because he feels Trustees Fairgrieve and Cusato are making the process political.
April 2006 - Another hearing on the police takes place. Some residents question what the size of the force would be and what it would cost, prompting the task force to begin an operational report.
August 2006 - After Trustees Fairgrieve and Cusato push for an independent consultant to study the police issue, the village receives two proposals. Fairgrieve and Cusato propose hiring the Center for Governmental Research for $112,000. However, the majority of the board denies the bid because they feel the firm isn't qualified.
October 2006 - Mayor Martins, Deputy Larry Werther and Trustee John DaVanzo vote to hold a referendum so voters can vote on the possibility of a Mineola police department on Dec. 5.
November 2006 - The Task Force comes out with the operational report, which states the village can have more coverage for less money that taxpayers pay the county. The last three hearings are held during which residents raise more questions about taxes.
December 2006 - Residents vote down the police referendum.