Residents had their questions answered at Tuesday night’s community policing plan reaction meeting at the
But, for some, those answers weren’t enough to convince residents that the proposed plan to restructure eight police precincts is worthwhile. The event, organized by Legis. Norma L. Gonsalves, R-East Meadow, was designed to educate residents on the proposal and gauge public response.
The proposed plan would transform four precincts into community policing centers, leaving the county with four traditional precincts. Before participating in a hearing Monday concerning whether or not the plan’s exploratory phase should be continued, Gonsalves felt it was important to gather input from her constituents.
Steven E. Skrynecki, the Nassau County Police Chief, outlined the plan to the public in a detailed presentation, stressing that the restructuring was part of an effort to adapt to changing times.
“Policing, like everything else, is an evolving process,” Skrynecki said.
Deputy County Executive in charge of Public Safety Dr. Victor Politi also spoke to residents.
According to Politi, the plan is designed to save the county money without harming public safety.
However, residents were less concerned with the financial aspects of the plan and more with the physical effects, including response time.
The plan will not change average response time or the amount of cars on patrol at any given time, according to Skrynecki.
Residents in attendance, many of whom were police officers, also voiced dismay that the plan appeared to be incomplete and urged Gonsalves not to vote for it without further information.
The Chief expects the “small portion” of the incomplete information to be finalized by next week.
“There is still a process in place where you amend what has already been done,” Gonsalves told Patch. “If it doesn’t work, we still have the [ability to fix it]. But, in order to do that, you have to push the movement forward. That’s why we’re having the hearing on Monday.
Gonsalves added: "By Monday, I’m sure the chief will have more information for us and two weeks [later], we’ll probably have a full hearing again. If it appears to be a good thing then I have to vote for it. If I see there are things that need to be amended, then we’ll do that as well.”
Still, some in the audience remained unconvinced at the end of the night.
“I’ve attended the meetings and I’ve come to the conclusion that this plan should not be voted on Monday,” Pat Maher said. “... It’s not going to save us money. We’re going to be paying more money because it’s going to end up being double the processing [and] double the work.”
Do you think the restructuring plan should move forward? Tell us in the comments.