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PBA Skeptical Over Consolidation Policy

Carver comments on the communication pipeline

The Police Benevolent Association (PBA) opposed plans by Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano to consolidate four police precincts. Now that the plan has been approved by the Nassau County Legislature, that organization remains skeptical about its effectiveness and its overall use to the county’s budget situation.

In a meeting with local reporters recently at PBA headquarters in Mineola, James Carver, PBA president, addressed cost and policing concerns. He noted that the county hopes to save $20 million from the consolidation. But he doubted that such savings, which as he added, are coming from a $700 million budget, are worth “the public risk” to closing four precincts.

“Things are going to get worse before they get better,” Carver said, alluding to what he claims are current difficulties with the actual closing of the precincts. “Twenty million dollars is not a lot in the scheme of things.”

Carver acknowledged that response time to the scene of a crime would remain the same. But he also maintained that services at station houses would be “negatively impacted.” Such services, Carver added, should include a prompt response to residents whenever they visit a station house. But he doubted that this could be the case under the new alignment.

Carver said that stationhouses previously employed three police officers and one desk officer. Under consolidation, there will be two police officers and one desk officer performing the work that two such officers used to do. A desk officer at the old Second Precinct would now be performing duties there and for the old Eighth Precinct as well. “The workload is nearly doubled,” Carver said.

Carver also said that PBA communications with the county executive’s offices went along “pretty well” after the consolidation vote, and that the current relationship goes “up and down.”

However, he was critical of the offices of Police Commissioner Thomas Dale, claiming that current situation is “probably” the worst relationship the PBA and the police commissioner’s offices have ever had.

“[We] don’t think Mangano wants that,” Carver said, adding to his comments about the police commissioner’s office. “Communications are important. We have new ideas that [we] can discuss.”

Basically, Carver added, the problem is that the police commissioner is having his chiefs to “do their bidding.”

“They are keeping us at arm’s length,” he said. “[It’s] not good. We have a history of resolving problems.”

Nassau County police officials declined to comment on Carver’s press conference.

A spokesman for County Executive Mangano issued the following statement on Carver’s comments.

“Just as County Executive Mangano stated months ago, all 177 patrols have remained in their current neighborhoods, 48 more police officers have been added to the patrol, and taxpayers are no longer footing the bill for 100 unnecessary desk jobs,” the statement read.