Nassau Democrats and law enforcement unions Thursday criticized the police department for hiring two new assistant commissioners with total salaries of $300,000 at the same time it is seeking to downgrade four police precincts to save money.
Retired NYPD Lt. John Quinn was hired last week as an assistant commissioner. Quinn worked closely with Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Dale in the NYPD's Office of the Chief of Personnel.
In addition, legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) criticized the salary increase that Thomas Krumpter received when he was promoted last month from interim police commissioner, a one-star union position, to first deputy police commissioner, a five-star appointive job. Krumpter's base salary rose from $188,657 to $237,265, department spokesman Kenneth Lack said.
Abrahams said the increased spending "sends the wrong message when you are talking about forming a more efficient police department."
"While taking services away from the public, the county is acting like it's business as usual for patronage jobs," said Police Benevolent Association president James Carver.
Dale, who earns $175,000 as commissioner, defended the hires. "It is critical to bring in an experienced upper management team to assist me in keeping Nassau the safest large county in the U.S. as well as maintaining the morale and discipline of the Nassau County Police Department," he said.
County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, has proposed turning four of Nassau's eight precincts into community policing centers, staffed by two officers each around the clock. Mangano says the plan would save the county $20 million a year by shedding more than 100 administrative jobs, including approximately 90 now held by uniformed officers.
Hart and Quinn will be paid $150,000 apiece, Lack said.
The department plans to offset the hires through retirements and attrition, Lack said. Second Deputy Chief William Flanagan, who earns approximately $225,000 annually, will retire within a month and not be replaced, Lack said. The department also will eliminate four high-ranking positions as part of the precinct reorganization, he said.
Also Thursday, Democrats called on Mangano to identify the cost of several elements of the precinct reorganization plan, including termination and incentive pay for more than 100 police employees whose positions will be eliminated and capital improvements to build four new community policing centers.