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Nassau Police Precinct Merger: The Vacuum Effect, Transport Time

PBA says patrol cars will gravitate to where they are needed most, leaving other areas open to more crime.

Part II in a series:

As Nassau County prepares to its eight police precincts into four, police union officials have set their eyes on potential problems with the merger.

According to the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the larger precincts will have an effect on the way officers oversee their patrols.

While the number of patrol cars will not change, PBA President Jim Carver said the officers on duty will migrate to the busier areas of a precinct, in what he described as a "vacuum effect."

In reference to the current Sixth Precinct — which will merge with the current Third Precinct and extend from Great Neck down to Salisbury — Carver said that officers who patrol the Great Neck area are going to migrate south to the areas where police resources are needed more often.

"What's going to happen to the people on the North Shore is that they’re not going to have any police protection," Carver said.

Carver said residents in the Five Towns can expect a similar problem to that of the North Shore — citing Valley Stream and the Green Acres Mall as areas that could potentially attract more patrol units than other areas of that precinct.

The Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) currently uses a response plan, which defines the sequence to how a car is assigned to call for service.

According to the county, County Executive Ed Mangano's merger will not have any impact on the response plan and will not have any more of a vacuum effect on patrols than what is currently in place.

"In other words, the likelihood of a car responding from one town to another will be the same," the county told Patch.

Carver also brought up the issue of transport time after an arrest. With the precincts being larger after the merger, he said that time transporting a prisoner will take longer, which will, in turn, take officers away from their patrol post for a longer period of time.

Eventually, the PBA president believes that transport time will factor into response times increasing.

"My belief is that response times will go up," Carver said. "Whether it's 30 seconds, or whether it's a minute, every second is critical."

The county said the vast majority of the time spent processing an arrest is outside transport time and acknowledged that there will be patrol posts where transport time will increase. However, the county also said that there will be posts where transport time is reduced.

"Additionally, the [NCPD] will be able to mitigate the issue of transport time with the use of the arrest processing center that will be online prior to the Fourth and First Precinct realignments," the county told Patch.

These problems, among several others, were originally expected to be addressed this week when it was announced that the county had  its vote on the merger after "progressive" discussions with law enforcement unions over the weekend.

However, it was later released that Legis. Joseph Belesi, a Farmingdale Republican and former police officer, had been Sunday. Belesi's vote would have been necessary in order for the Republicans, who hold a 10-9 majority in the legislature, to pass the measure.

The vote on the merger is now expected to be made on Monday, March 5.

This is the second part of our series on the plan to merge the precincts in Nassau County. Check back with Patch for more on this special report.

  • Part I:
Moe March 01, 2012 at 07:25 PM
There you go James another perfect example of them pissing away our money. Like I said, we could go on all day long about the money they waste! Stop wasting it and then if you still need more come ask for it.
Lawrence Tetenbaum March 01, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I do not have the time to read all the comments that preceded mine, so maybe this issue was already addressed, but I'll state it anyway. Rather than using two patrol cars to respond to each ambulance call, so one officer can drive the ambulance to the hospital while the medic remains in the rear with the patient, and the other officer follows in his car to bring the chauffeuring officer back this car... Let's just hire civilian EMTs to do the driving. Keeping these officers on the streets will certainly compensate for any loss of officer coverage due to longer drive times to get to precinct houses.
Moe March 01, 2012 at 09:55 PM
That's a good suggestion Lawrence, not sure why that wasn't changed long ago. Another thing the police department should unload is being in charge of crossing guards. This should be done by the schools. The fact that crossing guards work part time yet still get full benefits is another issue
RoBuSt! March 02, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Can anyone tell me why do I have to pay NCPD & fire dept a permit fee so I can have an alarm system at my house!!! Please explain that to me. I am thankful to have NCPD & fire department but NCPD is waaaayyy over paid! Come on already. They should have NYPD salary, it's more reasonable. Keep ur pension, u pay into it & work hard for it do u deserve it but that salary.... I have to disagree on that one & paying a fee for an alarm in my own home!
Helen March 02, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Eliminating precincts is not the answer. The math that NC has been throwing around doesn't add up - what a surprise. As for the whole cop salary/pension issue - let's move forward - it is what it is. Arbitrators decided what they decided. Yes, NC cops are paid very well, with unbelievable benefits, but why are we focusing on that? Let's stop the waste from the top first - and looky looky - what happened to three of their higher ups in the last few days? We don't need excessive "chiefs" in any section of NC....i.e. school superintendents, etc. Let's leave the "indians" alone for a bit and work on the upper tiers....and by no means am I leaving out the bs-ers in charge.
Nassau Taxpayer March 02, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Chiefs amount to chump change. Overmanning in the precincts has to GO.
Helen March 02, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Beg to differ - brass is heavy. Restructure the way police are scheduled and assigned....agreed. We've got some great ideas mixed in this whole post - don't have the time or desire to filter thru to give examples, but by putting forth good/great ideas is a start.
James M. March 02, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Helen are you a cop or the wife of a cop? I've never heard anyone refer to supervisors as brass unless they were in the military or other paramiltary group (police, fire, etc)
Helen March 02, 2012 at 08:14 PM
@James M. - why difference would that make? Maybe I am just an avid fan of all the Law and Order programs......
James M. March 02, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Why is that a sensitive question for you? It does make a difference when you say "As for the whole cop salary/pension issue - let's move forward - it is what it is." One of the points put forward regularly is that the cop salary needs to be reduced to something more in line with average salaries in Nassau ( I prefer median salaries) because once you take benefits into account the price tag jumps to $250K per cop. If there are 200 cops on the roles that's $50M. If you reduce it $200K per cop that's $40M and if you drop it to $175K that's $35M. So it makes a difference what the cops make.
James M. March 02, 2012 at 08:35 PM
THere is regularly a surcharge to the alarm company from the Pds and Fds. Part of it has to do with the Alarms company connection with the depts the other I believe is for false alarms not sure about that. However I do know in Great Neck after 3 false alarms the FD starts charging $1500 per visit.
Helen March 02, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Not a sensitive question at all - just questioning your curiosity, James. As for what I said - it's simple truth - it's been rehashed on this post as well as others a gazillion times - "as for the salary.....", yes, James, it is what it is. You even stated yourself that "one of the points put forward REGULARLY...." we get it. So, let's move forward on future hirings and contracts. It was a simple statement. I understand your opinion and I respect it. My point was meant to convey that we have rehashed this a thousand times and, yes, I understand your math as well. Point taken - moving forward.
EJ48 March 02, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Let's start with implementing the recommendations in the Grant Thornton report - see comment #.1.
Franken Harpo March 03, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Where have you gone Joe Belesi? A county turns it's lonely eyes to you. A man for all seasons. Who would have thought, eh?
Yankee Man March 03, 2012 at 03:14 PM
The cops are going to migrate?.... They seem to migate to 7-11 and fire houses already!!!
Patti Berlinquette March 04, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Ask the families of Geoffrey Breitkopf, Michael Califano and Kenneth Baribault if they think police officers are paid too much. When you go to work do you risk being shot, being involved in a car crash, being injured in the process of trying to arrest a belligerent drunk? I wouldn't want to have to approach a car with tinted windows that has just been pulled over for driving erratically not knowing who was behind the wheel. Police Officers risk their lives every day protecting the citizens of Nassau County. Remember that.
RoBuSt! March 04, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Very true! But come' on the pay is a little over board don't u think
Nassau Taxpayer March 04, 2012 at 05:12 PM
GIven the BLS lists nine more dangerous professions -- all of which pay FAR LESS -- and Nassau County is FAR LESS dangerous than most jurisdictions -- NCPD pay is OUT OF LINE HIGH.
Mark March 04, 2012 at 05:54 PM
I dont give a crap that NCPD risk being shot on the job? Thats part of the job the discription when they signed up. Besides its not NCPD being shot by a perp here in Nassau. Its more like NCPD Shooting themselves. Last month at the Store in wantagh I think. ATF AGENT shot and killed by idiot cop. These cops out here are quick to draw a gun to you face without merrit. So dont go saying that because they risk life and limb thats justifies there salarys. NCPD should get paid what cops around the world get paid, and thats way much less. When you have a bunch of boyscouts toting guns to a buglary call, like the wild west, some dumb cop going shoot another espicially if they are off duty cops involved that decided to join the party.
Yankee Man March 04, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Rodge..how abot we pay you the same as city cops. Thats why we can hire more officers... You are concerned about the citizens...prove it !!
Yankee Man March 04, 2012 at 06:27 PM
People are killed and ihjured every day in this country doing their job. People are killed each day in traffic accidents. Califano was in an accident. Same for Baribault. Sorry they happened but it was an accident. Stop with the cops risking their lives..nonsense. Soldiers risk their lives everyday. Cops are there for the paycheck. They are good guys and I support them but their union and the political system in NC has allowed them to receive a pay and benefit package that far outdoes what the common man has. These NC guys have a salary and pension that puts them in the top 1 percent of this country.
Cheap Sam March 04, 2012 at 06:40 PM
The "They risk their lives everyday" bulls**t statement is growing old. Like previously said...they knew that when they signed up. They do it for the money, benefits, job security and the lump sum check (in excess of 150,000) they get at retirement. And don't forget the nasty attitude you get from them when they arrive at your residential home in Wantagh or Seaford.....a little different then East New York or Harlem last time I checked.
Mac March 04, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Open season on cops and all other public employees. It is not just getting shot at bu the risk they take everyday. We do not here about the other injuries cops sustain on the job. A good friend was in an auto accident while chasing down a criminal didnt get shot at but had to endure three surgeries while his partner had brain surgery. neither died or was shot at. You cannot put a price on that. The salaries arent killing us. It is the other stuff. Cops should be working longer 30 years or until say age 58 with contributions to pension throughout whether it is 3 percent or lower. When a cop retires at first option we actually pay for his benefits longer than he worked. Also the archiac system of going crazy with OT you rlast 3 years needs to be abolished. It should be rated on BASE pay. Yes cops knew the dangers when they signed on but it doesnt mean they shouldnt get a high salary. f it was so easy and alluring why would everyone take the test? Fix the system dont bash the public employees.
EJ48 March 04, 2012 at 07:35 PM
The last 3 years OT shenanigans are so over the top . I wonder how many injuries and screw-ups are caused by sleep deprived older cops trying to squeeze out a better pension. Again, i refer all to the Grant Thornton report for some non partisan, objective clarity.
Escape LI March 04, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Mac I thought the NY Times identified the “most dangerous job in America” as being a LIRR employee (even the desk jockeys) because 90% retire on disability pensions. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/nyregion/21lirr.html
Cheap Sam March 04, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Well the NYPD has taken the necessary step to not include your last years OT in your pension figures. Why can't Nassau do the same? There is also no more 3/4's pensions...it's 46% ( or somewhere around that figure). As far as injuries on the job, there are no more injuries (if not less) then a construction worker, a LIRR worker or a plumber so save the rhetoric. New NYPD recruits do not receive the $12,000 variable supplement pay out every December after they retire. So as you can see, Nassau County should follow in the foot steps of its Big Brother and attempt to make some cuts as well. The problem is that the cry baby NCPD Union stomps its feet every step of the way and jams things up in court all because they are spoiled brats from years of favoritism and contributions/pay-offs to their arbitrators. Nothing will change so carry on!
Mac March 05, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Sam we are not talking about injuries on other jobs, Just let me know when the next time your typical LIRR worker, plumber or construction worker wears a bullet proof vest and carries a gun to work each day. We all made choices in life to what career to pursue. Do I believe each officer choose to be so because they wanted to fight crime in a noble profession, NO. But, part of the allure of the job is the pay and benefits. Let them get paid and fix all the other stuff. It is not economically prudent to pay these cops benefits longer than they actually worked. Dont blame the cops blame the system. If they are taking advantage of a flawed system can you blame them? I would wouldnt you? I would say most people would. If I had an opportuniy to retire at 55 and rack up tons of OT my last three years I wouldnt even hesistate.
James M. March 05, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Mac I have no problem with them taking advantage of the current system I object to the union fighting the county to fix the system. The Union uses scare tactics and work slow downs to fool the public. If there was any honor and integrity left in the union they should be working with the public and politicians to fix the system not to make sure the system remains broken.
Cheap Sam March 06, 2012 at 06:04 PM
It doesn't matter what you wear (a bullet proof vest or a hard hat) since the outcome is the same...injury or death. It's the risk. Also, they have the opportunity to retire far less then 55. If you were hired at the minimum age of 20 , you could retire at 40 since you only need 20 years of service to receive a FULL pension and benefits package. And, I agree with the fact that the Police Unions fight tooth and nail for the slightest change which I had also stated in an earlier post. They will dangle the "This change could effect the safety of the public" statement no matter what the proposed change. They will NEVER be happy.
Escape LI March 07, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Hey Cheap Sam nothing compares to the LIRR for injuries. And it is not just engineers, conductors or track workers seeking disability payments. Dozens of retired white-collar managers are doing it as well, including the former deputy general counsel, employment manager, claims manager and director of government and community affairs. Railroad officials say that as far as they know, most of the disabled workers were able-bodied until their early retirement, and only then filed papers seeking occupational disability payments. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/nyregion/21lirr.html

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