Written by D.F. Karppi Friday, 05 August 2011 00:00
Village of Muttontown Deputy Mayor Carl-Jull Nielsen said of their new police force on Wednesday, July 27, “People have embraced it. We have very positive feedback from the residents. One recently said his alarm went off by accident at about 3 a.m. one morning and two officers arrived at the house in about three minutes.
“He was ecstatic, and is someone I have known in the village for 25 years.
“The general consensus is that traffic is slowing down on Route 106. It’s done with a police presence. There have been few tickets given out,” he added.
Mr. Nielsen said Route 106 has been known for the speeding that took place on it. He said, as someone who uses the LIE himself, he can understand the feelings of people getting off the LIE after an hour of slow driving in the heavy traffic. “They feel liberated and are ready to giddy-yap and get going after an hour long drive and can say ‘I can finally drive.’ People are using the road to get to Huntington and Northport because the LIE is so congested,” he commented.
In a July 14 letter to residents Mayor Julianne Beckerman said of the new police force, “Muttontown Police Officers have been called to provide immediate aid to those who are sick or injured as well as to resolve other problems that residents encounter on a daily basis. Additionally, our officers have conducted preliminary investigations, assisted in the recovery of stolen property, backed up neighboring officers in need of assistance all while ensuring extra peace of mind for village residents simply seeking a patrol presence on their streets. All of these services, thus far, have been provided at an expenditure level below budget expectations.” The mayor encouraged the residents to make it a point to get to know the officers personally.
She added that Muttontown Police Chief William McHale reports to the board at their meetings on the second Tuesday of the month at village hall. The police non-emergency number is 364-3950.
The Village of Muttontown held a swearing-in ceremony on May 31 at the Hoffman Center for Police Chief William McHale and 10 new officers to establish the Muttontown Police Department.
Police Chief McHale explained that they hired three officers from the civil service list. One was a woman who decided she wasn’t that interested in that type of police work and after two weeks left the academy. “It was too late for us to replace the spot - after losing that time in the class. So we will wait for another police academy class to be formed before we take another person from the civil service list,” he said.
People on the Civil Service List have attended a police training academy in Nassau or Suffolk County, he said. The state requirement is to attend one of them – once.
“Four of those on the Civil Service list were prior law enforcement officers from NYC and have from five to nine years experience. They just needed familiarization with our area,” he said.
He said, “There were also three officers who came from a lateral transfer from the NYS Park Police. They also had gone to a certified police academy for training which is certified by the Division of Criminal Justice Services in NYC.
“Currently there is a staff of nine officers and myself. We were looking to hire two more officers and hopefully in a new term - in the next couple of months - a new supervisor. We have to comply with the civil service rules and have to bring someone (for that position) on board,” he said.
In talking about the changes in both the Muttontown and Old Brookville Police Departments – both without detectives, Chief McHale said, “The 2nd Precinct has always been responsible for the detective work. They are the ultimate authority in all the Old Brookville Police Department and Muttontown areas – the 2nd Squad has always been the responsible agency. The assistance that was given by the OBPD was a choice of that group but not a requirement since all the residents have paid taxes to have the Nassau County detective service.
“Legally we are using the detectives in NC and all is working well.
“I think there has been a lot of positive press and we are happy with that.” But Chief McHale added, “Our officers have taken the matter of doing their job in the village to heart and are showing the residents they can make a difference in their daily lives. We have had a lot of compliments and are doing the best we can and when we finish the complete staffing we will be doing an even better job.”
He added, “The officers are extremely interested in making a difference. One of the things you can see are the cars and the officers are putting a lot of mileage in to get to all various streets and lanes in the village so people can identify the cars and be pleased with the whole village makeup.” Chief McHale said while the police are becoming a presence on Route 106 – their aim is not to create a ticket trap, but to make it safe. “We will be looking out for people who abuse the law but normal traffic flow is what we want – to keep the roads safe.”