Written by Edward P. Mangano Friday, 24 February 2012 00:00
Earlier this month, along with Police Commissioner Thomas Dale, I submitted to the County Legislature a Community Policing (COP) Plan that reassigns 48 police officers from desk jobs to community policing positions. This plan includes the transformation of four current precincts into new Community Policing Centers to be located throughout the county, with a police presence maintained at all current locations. These Centers will have police officers posted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will have community rooms for residents to visit and for the police to host neighborhood meetings.
Keeping the families and senior citizens of Nassau County safe is my number one priority and this plan improves public safety, while increasing accountability and protecting our residents’ wallets.That is why this plan affects the boundary lines of administrative paperwork and criminal processing, not the locations in which officers are located on the streets. All 177 patrol cars will continue to remain in their current neighborhoods. That will not change.
For too long, Nassau County accepted the status quo and ignored the benefits of the 21st Century. Nassau County police officers change shift at their post in local neighborhoods and not at the station houses like you see in the movies. Residents should know that response time will not be impacted as police officers will remain in their current posts and additional officers will be assigned to our neighborhoods.
The current state of the economy, combined with Nassau County’s past budget practices, has resulted in my administration reining in record spending and implementing numerous cost savings measures in every single county department. This initiative has required us to think outside the box and seek efficiencies in areas that have been looked over for decades.
With the police department representing more than a third of Nassau’s budget, clearly, there is room to maximize taxpayer dollars. The COP Plan eliminates over 100 desk jobs and slashes costly built-in overtime benefits while modernizing Nassau’s 1972 precinct-building plan to account for the last 40 years of technology enhancements reducing administrative workload throughout the department. The COP Plan corrects imbalances in current workload, as three police precincts presently perform twice the workload of the remaining five precincts. Furthermore, this plan protects residents from a tax hike by achieving $20 million in annual savings.
The residents of Nassau County have spoken loud and clear. They want a leaner, more efficient government that maintains government services. This plan does just that!