Fifth Precinct awaits Sept. 14 downgrade

Nassau police fifth precinct in Elmont. (Jan. 30, Nassau police fifth precinct in Elmont. (Jan. 30, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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The Nassau Police Department says it will now attach trailers to the Fourth Precinct in Hewlett to accommodate additional staff as part of the county's precinct consolidation plan.

On Wednesday afternoon, First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said the department had abandoned an earlier plan to put trailers at the Fourth Precinct and instead would find additional space by moving their detectives into the Fifth Precinct building.

The Elmont-based Fifth Precinct will be downgraded to a lower-staffed community policing center on Sept. 14.

But, Krumpter said Thursday that the trailers, costing about $150,000, would in fact be needed until a permanent 1,300-square foot extension can be built to the Fourth Precinct building.

"There just wasn't enough office space," Krumpter said during an interview.

Nassau originally scheduled the consolidation of the Fifth Precinct and the Fourth Precinct for Sept. 1. But the move was delayed after police brass concluded the Fourth Precinct would be too crowded with the influx of new staff and prisoners.

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In addition to the new construction at the Fourth Precinct, a similar project will occur at the Seaford-based Seventh Precinct, set to be consolidated with the First Precinct in Baldwin on Nov. 1.

The construction projects are expected to be complete by late 2012 or early 2013 and will cost about $375,000 each, with the funds coming from the department's asset forfeiture funds and capital budget, Krumpter said.

"We don't expect any issues with public safety," Krumpter said. "This is an administrative realignment."

But James Carver, president of the Nassau Police Benevolent Association, said the Fourth Precinct building should be torn down and replaced, rather than built out. "This is not a sound move," Carver said. "I really don't know what they are thinking."

Krumpter said plans still call for the construction of a new Fourth Precinct building, although development is likely years away, Krumpter said.

The county, which is facing a projected $45 million budget deficit, passed a controversial plan earlier this year to cut its eight precincts down to four, with the remaining facilities serving as community policing centers. The county has already converted two precincts.

By year's end, Nassau will have four full precincts -- in Woodbury and Williston Park, which already have been converted, and in Seaford and Hewlett.

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