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Letter: Police Commissioner Responds to Critics of the Community Policing Plan

Over the past several months, there has been much speculation and criticism about the future of Nassau’s eight police precinct buildings. Though critics of this plan have expressed skepticism on realigning the current eight precincts into four, it is important to remember that all eight buildings will remain open and accessible to the public. The realignment of the precincts only affects the boundary lines of administrative paperwork and criminal processing, not the locations in which officers are located on the streets as some critics have stated.

To be clear, all 177 current patrols cars will continue to remain in their current neighborhoods. That will never change.

Additionally, this plan will improve the services that are provided to residents by reassigning 48 police officers from their current desk jobs to POP cops.

This Community Policing Plan will protect taxpayers by implementing efficiencies throughout the Nassau County Police Department. Both the Independent Budget Office and NIFA agree that there will be annual savings of nearly $20 million through the modernization of Nassau’s 1970s 8th Precinct building plan, by slashing costly built-in overtime costs and by eliminating more than 100 desk jobs.

Over the past several months, the Nassau County Police Department analyzed the distribution of workload within the department with the goal of addressing contemporary crime trends. This analysis also included identifying the reasons residents visit precinct buildings. Statistics indicate that residents, not subject to arrest, seldom visit precinct buildings. In fact, the common instance for visiting a precinct building is to obtain a traffic accident report. Accordingly, the department will make this information available on the Internet to assist residents.

Technological enhancements have truly helped make law enforcement response more efficient and effective in fighting crime. Patrol cars are presently equipped with computers, Shotspotter and the REAL Time Intel System. Officers receive briefings in their vehicles and input intelligence and key information right from their own patrol vehicle. Recognizing the technological gains of the past 40 years, this new Community Policing Plan corrects current imbalances in workload.

Thomas Dale
Commissioner, Nassau County Police