Jul 28, 2014
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Letter to the Editor: Opposing the Closing of Police Precincts

One local shares her opinion on the potential closing

Letter to the Editor: Opposing the Closing of Police Precincts Letter to the Editor: Opposing the Closing of Police Precincts

Dear Editor,

The plan to close four precincts is not a cost savings plan or a safety oriented plan.  

The plan will close the First Precinct, located in Baldwin, which services a large portion of East Meadow. Taxes will not be reduced through police cuts. However, services and our quality of life will be compromised. 

I’m a lifelong resident of East Meadow. I have attended meetings about the precinct closings at the Nassau County Legislature, testified at the Public Safety hearing during public comment and listened to a presentation about the plan in East Meadow. This plan has been rushed through for a vote on Feb. 27 before the Nassau County Legislature and should not be approved.  

In Nassau County, burglaries of homes surged nearly 111 percent in the first six weeks of 2012. East Meadow is one of the trouble spots in Nassau County. Special patrols, such as the Problem Oriented Police officers, will not be on patrol in our neighborhoods and instead will be used to help staff the closed precincts (community policing centers).

The plan only provides for two police officers to be staffed at the community policing centers 24/7.  The Community Oriented Policing Centers will also have to be renovated (costs not factored into the plan.)  

There will be less police presence in our community. Delay and backlog will occur in the administrative processing time of arrests, mandating overtime. The processing of arrests will initially have to go through the reduced number of four precincts, even if the proposed idea of a centralized arrest processing center is available. 

Each precinct has an average of 2,000 arrests per year and processing time will be doubled at the new combined four precincts. Necessity seems to require renovation of these precincts.  How will we pay for that expense?  

To date, no financial analysis has been provided to the Legislature or for the public to review. According to the Independent Legislative Budget Review office, the costs savings of this plan IS NOT $20 million and predicted to be much less. The plan doesn’t address additional costs such as the renovation of the buildings, overtime and a termination liability of over $21 million in debt service expense, triggered by a voluntary retirement incentive program. The numbers don’t add up.    

A vote on the closing of the precincts will be held at the Nassau County Legislature on Monday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. at 1550 Franklin Ave. in Mineola. 

Public comment time will be made available for anyone to speak on the matter. If you can’t attend, you can send a letter to the Nassau County Legislative chambers asking that your view be entered into record on this matter.    

This letter was written and submitted by East Meadow resident Patricia Maher.

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