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Letter to the Editor: Opposing the Closing of Police Precincts

One local shares her opinion on the potential closing

Dear Editor,

The plan to close four precincts is not a cost savings plan or a safety oriented plan.  

The plan will close the First Precinct, located in Baldwin, which services a large portion of East Meadow. Taxes will not be reduced through police cuts. However, services and our quality of life will be compromised. 

I’m a lifelong resident of East Meadow. I have attended meetings about the precinct closings at the Nassau County Legislature, testified at the Public Safety hearing during public comment and listened to a presentation about the plan in East Meadow. This plan has been rushed through for a vote on Feb. 27 before the Nassau County Legislature and should not be approved.  

In Nassau County, burglaries of homes surged nearly 111 percent in the first six weeks of 2012. East Meadow is one of the trouble spots in Nassau County. Special patrols, such as the Problem Oriented Police officers, will not be on patrol in our neighborhoods and instead will be used to help staff the closed precincts (community policing centers).

The plan only provides for two police officers to be staffed at the community policing centers 24/7.  The Community Oriented Policing Centers will also have to be renovated (costs not factored into the plan.)  

There will be less police presence in our community. Delay and backlog will occur in the administrative processing time of arrests, mandating overtime. The processing of arrests will initially have to go through the reduced number of four precincts, even if the proposed idea of a centralized arrest processing center is available. 

Each precinct has an average of 2,000 arrests per year and processing time will be doubled at the new combined four precincts. Necessity seems to require renovation of these precincts.  How will we pay for that expense?  

To date, no financial analysis has been provided to the Legislature or for the public to review. According to the Independent Legislative Budget Review office, the costs savings of this plan IS NOT $20 million and predicted to be much less. The plan doesn’t address additional costs such as the renovation of the buildings, overtime and a termination liability of over $21 million in debt service expense, triggered by a voluntary retirement incentive program. The numbers don’t add up.    

A vote on the closing of the precincts will be held at the Nassau County Legislature on Monday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. at 1550 Franklin Ave. in Mineola. 

Public comment time will be made available for anyone to speak on the matter. If you can’t attend, you can send a letter to the Nassau County Legislative chambers asking that your view be entered into record on this matter.    

This letter was written and submitted by East Meadow resident Patricia Maher.

Bill Alderman February 23, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I agree that this is in no way a good or sound or complete plan. I too have attended more that one meeting and think that Mr Mangano seeks to pull the wool over our eyes as the presenters of the plan seek to call this " the next step in evolution". He has given the members of the legislature no real options as they have stated either we do this with a scapel or he will be forced to make cuts with the AX. The presenter stated we have no money for law enforcement expansions and must delete 100 trained men and women ,but he hires two buddies as new assistant commissioners with total salaries of $300,000 at the same time it is seeking to downgrade four police precincts to save money. There are more holes in this plan than some good swiss cheese. I say "Cut the waste , not the crew"
James M. February 23, 2012 at 09:25 PM
When are the voters of Nassau going to force the cronyism to stop. It would be nice if a real independent candidate ran. No more special favors to friends and family. Positions over $100K should be approved by 60% of the legislature on an up down vote.
Jon L. February 23, 2012 at 10:22 PM
James, While I agree with you whole heartedly it still would not stop the cronyism here in Nassau. Special Ed controls enough of the Legislature to still get his (and Joe Mondello's) people in high paying positions, the only place that it is worse than Nassau is the Town of Hempsted. His puppet, the Alternate Deputy Presiding Officer does not have the spine to stand up to these cuts. Mrs. Gonsalves has NEVER cast a vote against the party line. She is a great puppet for Special Ed's agenda. I say all of this knowing that another poster is going to on about how great Norma is and how she supports the Civilian Patrol etcetera. So where the heck is she on the important public saftey issue? Right in Ed's pocket doing a lint inspection. Thanks for nothing Madam Alternate Presiding Officer.
paul February 23, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Please see additional information about police precincts: http://www.longislandpress.com/2012/02/16/an-inside-look-the-nassau-police-precinct-debate/
paul February 23, 2012 at 11:01 PM
I have posted a flier of the legislators that voted for the closings... Call them and let them know how you fell.....
Bill Alderman February 23, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Not sure if in this case voting against the closings would be beneficial. Mangano would then fire 100 highly trained officers and leave 8 houses shorter handed than the way it is. And yes someone need to erect/construct/elect an oversite committee to monitor waste and job cronyism and other useless moves by Ed "lets send another letter to residents explaining the falsehoods with other smoke and mirrors" Mangano.
paul February 24, 2012 at 01:05 AM
To Bill: It is a no brainer. But then again you are never sure of anything that matters. The only rhetoric that you have written is that you support whatever Legislator Gonsalves wants. Doubtful they would be firing any uniformed police in the county. Firing is a strong word to flex his muscles to the public and try a scare tactic with the PBA. The PBA is not scared of rhetoric from Mangano. The Legislators that voted for the closings are posted in the photo area. Call your Legislators NOW.....
jane February 24, 2012 at 02:06 AM
please sign the petition and keep nassau safe! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/defeat-the-plan-to-eliminate-four-precincts-in-nassau-county/
paul February 24, 2012 at 02:38 AM
To Bill: You have done it again, but I am not surprised. Your first comment at 12:49 pm on Thursday, February 23, 2012 says that you agree that this is in no way a good or sound or complete plan. Your second comment at 6:20 pm on Thursday, February 23, 2012 says that you are not sure if voting against the closings would be beneficial. This does show your thought process or lack there of. You can not have it both ways. Are you running for office? Politicians and Bill talk out of both sides their mouths....
Jon L. February 24, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Bill is just shilling for Norma as I predicted in my prior post. Nothing to get too upset about Paul. Totally expected here is the formula: Norma is Ed's puppet, Bill is a Norma puppet therefore Bill just became Ed's puppet.
paul February 24, 2012 at 02:59 AM
To Jon L: I was going to comment to you earlier and say that you are correct. Glad I waited until now, because I read his comments over and over and realized Bill has no clue as usual.
Joanna G February 24, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Hmmm. After reading all the comments, the only person who seems to have a cogent, specific and intelligent argument is the writer of the letter to the editor - Ms. Maher. Most of the comments sound like teenage squabbling. Somehow I cannot believe that the choice is between firing 100 officers or deleting 50% of the precincts. Either solution seems to be draconian in nature. Let us keep in mind the fact that one of the reasons Nassau has been one of the safest counties in the nation is precisely because of the police force we now have in place. I know this is silly season with politics in this country, but rushing something through the legislature would not be beneficial to anyone.
Chuck February 24, 2012 at 04:10 AM
To Joanna: Thank you for making sense of the senseless and the Lin-Sanity.....
Susan February 24, 2012 at 02:56 PM
I agree with Pat Maher on this issue. And yes, I am also a friend of Norma Gonsalves. The two are NOT mutually exclusive. Everything with Mangano is always rush, rush, rush. He did the same thing with the Coliseum referendum. The faster he pushes something on the voters, the less chance we have of understanding it. I don't even think that HE understands half of what he's saying. Mangano is slowing destroying the Nassau County will all love. Sure why not get rid of the police? Hang a big sign on the Northern State and Southern State Pkwys that say "All criminals are Invited. Low police presence". I have to say that after moving here from Queens over 20 years ago where each area has a police precinct, I was surprised by how far away the police station was to where I live. So now what? This plans just seems so utterly ridiculous to me. There are other areas that can be cut before the police. I think it's tme to "pink slip" Mangano, hire a management consulting firm, and maybe forensic accountants and start eliminating the WASTE in Nassau County government. I used to visit the Dept. of Public Works almost every 2 weeks and there was a man who just sat and read a book all day long. He made about $80,000 a year. I asked him about it one day and he told me he was an 'appointee' and no one gave him any work to do. He's retired now. Do you think he's the ONLY one?? He sat and got paid ALL day for doing NOTHING!! Time to cut the waste, not the POLICE!
Jon L. February 24, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Well Ms. Gazzola thanks for your reprimand, I enjoyed it. Sadly the ruth remains, the salient points of the argument are spot on; If Mr. Mangano would cut down on the cronyism he would not need to threaten the layoff of 100 officers or closing the precincts. It is political posturing that is equivalent to bullying the legislature into getting his way. If any one in this equation is acting like a squabbling teenager, it is Edward Mangano. The second argument, that a regular blogger here on this site who claims to be "Endorsed by no one" is shilling for a politician who has voted twice to close 50% of the police precincts in Nassau County. That is where you reported teenage squabbling comes from. Ms Maher is correct in saying that is is not a plan about saving money. She fails to point out that it is a plan to circumvent the minimum manning provision of the County's contract with the PBA. This is why Mr. Mangano is pushing this so hard, he is a schoolyard bully looking to point fingers for the mess this County is in. So after the school bully gets his way and it takes a 1st precinct supervisor 15 minutes to East Meadow (with lights and siren) it puts the safety of our community at risk. That is 15 extra minutes to get an Amber Alert in motion, 15 extra minutes to get special units to a scene. That is the real problem here. It's not a money problem it is a public safety problem and Mr. Mangano is playing politics with your safety. Plain and simple
Lloyd February 25, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Susan. Somehow I wound up on here.....an alien from Long Beach Patch. Does snyone want to discuss the Ducks before I get tossed out of this place?
Lloyd February 25, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Susan. All they do over on the other Patch is discuss whether a guy should open a deli on Park Ave.
paul February 25, 2012 at 03:19 AM
To Lloyd: Are you going QUACKERS?
Jon L. February 25, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Well Lloyd, one might say the only thing we talk about over here is if a Sonic should open up on Hempstead Turnpike, welcome to the melee!
Susan February 25, 2012 at 11:07 PM
LOL. So Lloyd, then you need to stay here and play with those of us in East Meadow!! Ever eat at Sugo's in Long Beach?? My friend is performing there tonight! Go visit.

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