Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi Friday, 27 May 2011 00:00
Upper Brookville resident Terri Carr Muran, a strong advocate for the residents and the Old Brookville Police Department said, “I am always trying to Save the Children; now I am trying to save my police.” [Ms. Muran is the local president for Save the Children in this area.]
She said, “I am working with residents of Upper Brookville to save the OBPD. The residents had two meetings with the mayor and board trustees. The residents want full disclosure of the facts. They said at both meetings they want to see the budget and said, ‘if you tell us the percent of increase, we will pay it.’ They haven’t disclosed the information. Chris Sweeney, the PBA president, said it would be about $100. Unfortunately the by-laws of the village say the board and mayor can make the decision. [That was the same statement made in Muttontown when villagers complained about the new police department. They wanted the village to have a referendum on the issue but that village attorney said state law gives that decision to the mayor and the board.]
Ms. Muran said, “There are 600 residents who want the OBPD to stay the way it is. Why isn’t that being allowed to us? The board is making this decision for the residents and this is not what the residents want. [That was evident at the meeting where members of the community at that time said if they lost the OBPD they would put in a new board.]
Ms. Muran said, “If they disband it, our crime rates will go up. We are living in this area because of the fine police services and they are why we are willing to live here and will pay the cost.
“The residents really want to know what we have to pay and we are all in agreement - especially with the cutoff date of May 31.”
The issues involved have come up because of the withdrawal of the Village of Muttontown from the seven-village contract with the Old Brookville Police Department for services. In response to their leaving, the board of police commissioners from the participating villages of Old Brookville, Matinecock, Brookville, Upper Brookville, Mill Neck and Cove Neck have proposed cuts to lower costs.
OBPD PBA President Chris Sweeney said the board has not issued the layoff letters but they are expected this week. He said the plan is “They are eliminating the detective division; eliminating one administrator position; now we only have 18 police officers and need 20 for fully staffing the post cars. We need a total of 20 to properly staff the cars. There are two shifts a day – with only 18 men per month. There will be at least 14 shifts that will not be staffed and will have to be put on overtime.
“The mayors are only looking at the monetary number and not going to the residents asking what kind of department they want. There are also eliminating one dispatcher, a relief dispatcher. That position is needed if anyone is going on vacation; has a day off; calls in sick; or is out for surgery. Now these openings will have to be filled in with overtime, mainly by police officers,” he said.
He said, “The main thing we are getting from all the residents is that they want a full service department with a full contingency of police officers and detectives – not a barebones department which they are currently proposing.”
Additionally he said, “There are currently massive cuts in the Nassau County Police Department within the detective division. The stated the detective division was so diminished they had to negotiate the minimum for any shift is three officers. So if they have to respond to other precincts, they have no time to do so. That is what is already happening,” he said.
“We work our own cases except homicide and robbery. We do burglaries, domestic disputes, identify theft – it is huge all over; one of the biggest problems in law enforcement currently. Our detectives also investigage minor incidents such as illegal dumping, trespassing arrests and anything that happened at C.W. Post that is not investigated by the county.”
We were not able to contact any of the mayors by press time.