From the Desk of Legislator Judi Bosworth
I want to express to my constituents my grave concern about the plan unveiled on Monday, January 30 by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, which calls for the elimination of four out of eight currently-operating police precincts, including the Sixth Precinct in Manhasset. Mr. Mangano has stated that the Sixth Precinct will be closed and will become a “community policing center,” staffed by only two police officers, down from 38, and the administrative work will shift to the Third Precinct.
It is my firm belief that protecting the public and providing law enforcement services are essential functions of government. In this era of increasing prescription drug use and related crimes, home invasions and robberies, I don’t know how decreasing our police presence in the community helps combat crime. Many of us moved to our homes in the 10th Legislative District for the wonderful quality of life we are afforded; if we feel our safety is compromised or that our local precinct is not responsive to community needs, that quality of life is diminished. Indeed, we rely on our local precincts to interface with our school districts, local villages and mayors, and to have their fingers on the pulse of our community. The Mangano plan calls for merging the 3rd and 6th precincts, the result of which will be a precinct stretched so thin that the current level of personalized service will be compromised. The new precinct will extend all the way from Manorhaven in Port Washington to Nassau University Medical Center on Hempstead Turnpike, including the Roosevelt Field Mall.
The County Executive has justified his proposal by asserting that the change will result in a $20 million savings county-wide, but I remain skeptical because of recent experience. At this time, the Mangano Administration has failed to collect $44 million in unpaid traffic and parking tickets and has left $38 million in sewer tax revenue uncollected. While the Administration estimates $45 million in savings from recent layoffs, the Office of Legislative Budget Review calculates the number at only $21 million.
There are so many unanswered questions at this time: How will the plan really affect residents who pay high taxes and value their excellent police services? What are the actual costs associated with the community policing centers? What will the cost be to tear down existing precincts and build Police community centers in their place? How will the 3rd Precinct handle the double workload as a result of consolidation of the Third and the Sixth Precincts?
I promise to seek answers to these and other questions from public safety experts and financial analysts. If the end result is that your tax bill remains the same but the quality of service is severely reduced, that is unacceptable. As always, please feel free to call my office at 516-571-6210 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.