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Nassau County Legislature

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2/24/12

 

PRECINCT MODERNIZATION

A New Chapter in Nassau County Public Safety

Nassau’s outdated 1970s police structure is being brought into the 21st century.  The County Executive and the Police Commissioner have proposed a new Community Policing Plan which will transform 4 of Nassau’s 8 precincts into Community Policing Centers which will still provide services to the community, but will no longer house 148 desk personnel.  This plan also transfers 48 police officers back onto the streets. 

The new Community Policing Plan will save taxpayers up to $20 million ANNUALLY in overtime and salary expenses based on the reduction of desk officers at an annual salary of $200,000 each. 

No precinct will close its doors, and this change will not impact the unparalleled public safety with which Nassau residents are accustomed.

Police Unions are resisting this change despite the 40 years of technological advances  since Nassau was divided into 8 Precincts in the 1970s. 

In the 1970s there was no internet, there were no cell phones, there was no ShotSpotter (gunfire locator), and there were no computers or printers in police vehicles. 

                NOW: Nassau is ranked as one of the safest counties in the nation.

                NOW: High-tech police cruisers have become virtual mobile precincts. 

                NOW: Nassau is home to a regional Homeland Security Center (opened in 2010 in Bethpage).

                NOW: Nassau has a state-of-the-art 911 Public Safety Center (opened in 2011 in Westbury). 

                NOW: Nassau’s precinct houses have become obsolete due to technological advances.

Implementing Modernization – What does this mean to you?

It means that the police department can be streamlined to reduce desk personnel salaries while preventing a property tax increase and adding more community police to the street.

Police unions have asked for tax increases to support rising police salaries.  A tax increase is not an option.  This new plan helps prevent a 19% property tax increase to correct Nassau’s finances without impacting Nassau’s unparalleled public safety network.

Highlights of the new Community Policing Plan: 

•  148 desk positions will be eliminated.    

•  48 police officers will transition onto the streets.

•  Annual savings of up to $20 million.

•  There will be no reduction in police patrolling.  The same 177 police cars will continue to patrol 24/7.

•  4 Precincts will be transformed into Community Policing Centers.

•  Most arrests for felony crimes, DWI’s, narcotics and violent crimes will continue to be   

   taken to Police Headquarters in Mineola.

 

What will a Community Policing Center offer taxpayers?

•  Policing Centers will be open and manned with two police officers 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.   

•  Crime Reporting: Residents can walk in and report any criminal or  suspicious activity; officers will take the report and initiate an investigation, if warranted.

•  Fingerprinting: Residents who need a certified print card for employment purposes can be fingerprinted and have the card certified.

•  Domestic Exchange: Policing Centers will provide a safe place for child custody exchanges.

•  Victims of a crime may come in and receive a copy of their case report.

•  Residents involved in accidents may come in to receive a copy of their accident report.

•  Policing Centers will offer meeting rooms for community groups.

•  Police cruisers will still frequent the Policing Centers’ locations to refuel the vehicles.

•  Special units, such as the highway patrol bureau, the robbery squad and other special operations units will be located throughout the 4 Community Policing Centers.