I am calling for the Nassau County Police Department (“NCPD”) to reopen the 6th precinct. I believe a fully operational precinct is in the best interest of the residents and communities I represent.
To be clear, the merger has not caused an increase in the crime rate in the communities in the former 6th precinct (now the 3rd precinct north). The major crime rate in these communities has declined in the years since the merger, as they have countywide. In fact, in 2016 the major crime rate for Nassau County was the lowest it has been since 1966 when such statistics were first maintained.
The overall continued success of the NCPD must, however, be balanced with the persistent complaints from residents and community leaders that enforcement of quality of life laws and ordinances has become reactive and inconsistent. I believe the presence of a commanding officer and more supervisory personnel in a reopened 6th precinct will provide the direct oversight needed for active enforcement of these laws in our communities. I also believe that additional local supervision will help address Nassau’s chronic high police overtime costs.
The precincts were originally merged to avoid contractual rules that require each precinct, no matter how active or inactive, to have the same desk-bound police personnel. Thus, for example, the 6th precinct was required to have the exact same staffing as the 3rd precinct, although the case load at the 6th precinct is 1/3 of the 3rd precinct. To require equal staffing of supervisors and desk-bound officers in every precinct is not a rational use of police resources. I urge the county executive and the police unions to negotiate an agreement that will permit the staffing of a reopened 6th precinct to be consistent with the caseload in the precinct.
I am also renewing my demand that the county immediately commence a capital project to upgrade the 6th precinct. When I toured the facility in July 2016, it was in deteriorated, crumbling condition. While there has been increased maintenance since then, it is not enough. The building that exists now is old and outdated. Nassau has found tens of millions in capital projects for police projects across the county. It is time to provide the communities and our officers with a state of the art police facility in a reopened 6th precinct.