Thursday, 24 October 2013 00:00
I am writing out of concern for our police presence in Levittown. On Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at around 2:15 PM we parked at the Stop and Shop on the corner of Hempstead Tpke. And Wantagh Ave. in Levittown to do some grocery shopping. When we emerged from the store at about 2:45 p.m. we discovered that our car had been side-swiped while parked and that the perpetrator had left the scene with no note.
After determining that there was no note, we decided to ask the manager to look at the video cameras. The manager explained that they would need a police report to do that and suggested we call 911 which we did. We were told that it could be up to 30 minutes and to be patient.
While we were waiting for the police car to arrive one of us stayed with the car and the other one walked around the parking lot looking for comparable damage on another car with similar paint as the scrapes that were left on the car. In a short time we discovered a car that fit the bill and we took pictures of that car’s damage along with the license plate.
After an hour passed, we called the precinct and asked about the lack of response. We were told that there had been an auto accident with injuries and there was no one available for “non-emergencies”. We were told that we were “next” once a car was free. We asked if we could simply drive over to the precinct and file the report there since the car was drivable and were told that they did not have the computers there necessary to create that report. So we waited some more, for a total of 2 hours and finally, after seeing a patrol car pass going south right past the store and not come back, decided to go home and call the insurance company.
My concerns are this: I know Dennis Dunne voted to convert the 8th precinct to a “community policy center” in 2012, I wonder if there is enough police presence in the case of a real emergency. If one incident with injuries means that no police can be dispatched to the scene where a hit-and-run crime has occurred what would happen if, God forbid, there were two auto accidents with injuries? Would one have to take a number and possibly fall off the radar the way I did?
Perhaps those of us who live in this town and within this precinct that is no longer a precinct should think long and hard about who our elected officials are now that Election Day is just around the corner. I have lived in this town for 36 years and have never called for help only to be told I was “next” and worse, not had anyone show up! We need to all wake up and wonder if we are being properly protected and just who our elected officials are looking out for!