Nassau County proposes cutting police precincts

January 30, 2012 4:24:15 PM PST
Nassau County is proposing cutting the number of the police department's eight precincts in half.

The county would turn four police precincts into so-called community policing centers, which officials said could save taxpayers some 20 million dollars every year.

"No longer will three precincts do the work of the five others. That's silly and that doesn't make sense," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said.

But some people wonder at what cost? More than 100 people, including officers but mostly administrative personnel, will be laid off from the four precincts.

Expected to turn into community centers include the first precinct in Baldwin, the fifth in Elmont, the sixth in Manhasset and the eighth in Levittown.

James Carver, the head of the Nassau County PBA, is outraged.

"Police stations aren't here to make money. This is all the accountants, so let's negatively impact public safety to do this, Carver said.

People are concerned about what it all means for their safety.

The centers will be staffed 24/7 with officers, but the officers will not be able to process arrests and will not be dispatched to respond to criminal activity.

"I know they're trying to cut back and save money. They have to be careful where they're cutting from what communities. There are a lot of problems here in Elmont," business owner Joseph Sardelli said.

County officials are reassuring people, however, that all 177 patrol cars will remain on the streets and response time will not be affected.

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