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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:
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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