The first realignment in Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano's police precinct restructuring took effect this week after the Eighth Precinct in Levittown was absorbed by the Second Precinct in Woodbury.
The former Eighth Precinct is now the county's first community policing center.
According to Newsday [paid link]:
For much of last week, moving trucks shuttled cardboard boxes of investigative files and personnel records from the Eighth to the Second.
"The realignment went well and was completed [Sunday], slightly ahead of schedule," First Deputy Commissioner of the Nassau County Police Department Tom Krumpter told Patch. "The department is phasing in the realignments over the next nine months so that we can address any issues and make necessary adjustments. We do not anticipate any significant issues as we move forward with the remaining realignments."
Despite ongoing positive negotiations with the county, Nassau County Police Benevolent Associated President Jim Carver is unhappy with the first realignment.
"On March 5 when the legislature voted to close the precincts, I think the quote from the commissioner at the time was 'It's a work in progress.' It still seems to be 'a work in progress,'" Carver said. "I still think they should have done more public hearings on it and got the public more involved in it, but they didn't."
The next realignment is scheduled to take place 60 days after the Eighth Precinct was restructured, which sets the date at July 1 when the Sixth Precinct in Manhasset will be absorbed by the Third Precinct in Williston Park.
Carver said that the first realignment was the easiest and that the remaining three will be much harder.
The PBA president's reasoning is that three of the remaining six precincts — the First, Third and Fifth Precincts — are considered the busiest in the county. His complaint, as he has said in the past, is that the county is "taking 10 pounds of crime and putting it in a five-pound bag."
One of Carver's other concerns is that the police unions, county and Nassau County Police Department are not on the same page.
According to the PBA president, there will only be two police officers in the policing centers at any given time.
"We're in the midst of setting up a meeting with the county," Carver said. "I know [Deputy County Executive] Walker and Mangano understand the agreement they had with us, but the police department doesn't seem to be following through with that right now at this time. So I think everybody needs to get on the same page."
The county has told Newsday that there will be more than just two officers in the policing centers:
As many as 10 officers will be on duty at the community policing centers Mondays through Fridays during general business hours; before the merger, the precinct would have had as many as 17. The centers' sworn personnel will include desk officers, two detectives on each of two 10-hour weekday shifts and a deputy commanding officer who will maintain an office there.
However, Krumpter said that both numbers are actually correct.
"Between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. there will be no less than two officers at the facility at a time. Currently, in the precincts, the number is four," he said. "At any one point in time there could be as many as 10 officers. Commanding officers and the deputy commanding officers will maintain an office at the policing center with their main office at the precincts."
Following the next realignment on July 1, the Fifth Precinct in Elmont will then be absorbed by the Fourth Precinct in Hewlett 60 days later. The last realignment will see the First Precinct in Baldwin absorbed by the Seventh Precinct in Seaford.