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: