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Neighborhood Watch Hosts 3rd Precinct’s Kevin Canavan

Commanding officer discusses precinct consolidation, local crimes

In response to a number of residential burglaries in Westbury and Carle Place neighborhoods around the holidays, local residents formed a Community Watch to help deter local crime. The group hosted Nassau County Police Department 3rd Precinct Commanding Officer Kevin Canavan on Feb. 13 at Carle Place High School to update residents on a number of recent concerns.

Regarding the possible precinct consolidation within the county, Canavan said that his 3rd Precinct would absorb the 6th Precinct in the event that consolidation is approved later this month. The 3rd Precinct, which Canavan called the county’s “flagship” precinct, has been in operation for more than 70 years and is headquartered on Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. The 3rd Precinct’s sub-station at the Source Mall in Westbury processes 2,500 arrests every year, Canavan said, making it one of the busiest stations in the county.

“The 3rd Precinct handles about 20 percent of the calls for the entire county. This is a big precinct, a big command. We lead the county in arrests, we lead the county in calls for service and ambulance calls – you name it we lead it. The addition of the 6th Precinct will kind of even out the workload but we’ll still be responsible for about 28 percent of the calls in the county,” said Canavan.

The commanding officer said that the 3rd Precinct would take on another 17 villages and six school districts to the unit if consolidation were approved. Canavan said that his approach wouldn’t change, consolidation or not.

“My biggest fear is, not so much for the 3rd Precinct but for the 6th Precinct, it’s going to be a big draw of their resources because when we need to transport people and arrest, we’re going to be looking up to the 6th Precinct. It’s less busy and we’re going to be pulling those cars out of service to do some of the work down here. It’s not my place to say it’s a good plan or a bad plan, it’s my place to say we’re going to make it work,” added Canavan.

Regarding the string of residential burglaries in the area, Canavan said that calling 911 and avoiding confrontation are two measures residents should observe. Nassau County also operates a reverse-911 system, where a resident unable to speak can have his or her location traced through GPS after dialing 911. He also reminded residents that cars should always be locked to deter possible car larcenies, especially at night.

“Residential burglaries in the area were down from the previous year,” said Canavan. For the month of January, nine burglaries were reported. Of the nine, four were classified as domestic burglaries and three were solved. Two remain under investigation.

Canavan said that six suspects were recently arrested in connection with Carle Place and Westbury robberies or burglaries. He said all of the suspects were from the area, specifically Mineola, Plainview and Syosset.  

In response to an incident on Jan. 20 along Cherry Lane in Carle Place, Canavan said the incident was noted as a possible burglary, but the witness was deemed “un-credible” due to inconsistencies in describing the incident.

Canavan explained that residential burglaries are normally non-violent and non-confrontational, although some are drug-related and may involve violence or house targeting. The officer also said he commands a dozen plainclothes officers in his unit, who are mainly dedicated to residential burglaries.

Neighborhood Watch coordinator Kelly Bocchicchio also thanked Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro for attending, who noted that the village recently introduced measures to help reduce peddling and soliciting in the area. Bocchicchio said Neighborhood Watch and signs regarding soliciting are being posted in the near future.

To learn more about the Neighborhood Watch program, email kellybo3@veri­zon.net. Visit http://www.po­lice.co.na­­ssau.ny.us­/3rd_pct.htm for more information on the 3rd Precicnt.