Thomas Krumpter, Nassau's acting police commissioner for almost two years, is County Executive Edward Mangano's choice to be the next top cop.
"I think that he's earned the title. He's done a great job," Mangano told Newsday Thursday. "He certainly has a command of the department. He has a command of the budget."
Mangano had no timeline for the nomination, but said his staff is working on the paperwork. The move must be confirmed by the Nassau Legislature.
"I have talked to my wife, and we decided it's a great opportunity, and we're honored that the county executive is putting me forward to be confirmed," Krumpter said in an interview.
A 23-year department veteran, Krumpter, 49, did not appear to have any competition for the job since Mangano called off a nationwide search last year.
Krumpter has led the 2,250-officer force during a period of historic crime lows -- major crime decreased by 6.8 percent through September this year compared with the same period in 2014 -- while also pushing a controversial precinct merger plan and helping end the county's wage freeze.
Glenn Ciccone, president of the department's detectives union, said he disagreed with Krumpter over the consolidation plan but was "glad to see the position given to someone within the department" after two former career-NYPD officers have served as commissioner in the last decade.
"I know he has been working very hard over the years to obtain this position," Ciccone said. "He truly has a thorough working knowledge of the Nassau police department."
Krumpter's current annual compensation is $237,265 under his civil service title of first deputy commissioner, according to the county comptroller's office. As police commissioner, however, his compensation would drop to $175,000, officials said.
The gap exists because Krumpter's current salary was negotiated through union contracts, but the top cop's pay is set by the county executive.
"Whoever the next commissioner is . . . the salary's gonna be 175," said Brian Nevin, Mangano's spokesman.
Krumpter said he's prepared to accept the reduced salary. "Being a police officer has never been about the money to me. It's about the service; it's about doing right by the community," he said.
Could he take on other work to make up for the salary loss?
"I can't imagine a scenario where I would get another job," Krumpter said. "My job as a commissoner is a full-time job."Mangano, a Republican, announced a nationwide search for a new commissioner following the abrupt resignation of former Commissioner Thomas Dale, an NYPD veteran, in late 2013 due to allegations that he improperly interfered in a politically charged case.
But Mangano told Newsday last year that he had called off the search and planned to leave Krumpter in an acting capacity, saying that people in acting roles "try harder."
Mangano also has said he wanted a commissioner who would be a disciplinarian, after a series of embarrassing incidents for the department, including the shooting of an unarmed cabdriver by off-duty Nassau police officer Anthony DiLeonardo.
Krumpter ultimately fired DiLeonardo last year, and Mangano's office pointed to that move, and Krumpter's creation of a new use-of-force policy, as evidence that he has made reforming the department a top priority.
Nevin said in a statement: "Commissioner Krumpter has terminated three officers in the past year for misconduct, has two hearings underway for misconduct and will continue to lead the department with zero tolerance for misconduct."
The Legislature's Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) said in a statement Thursday that the body would do its "due diligence" in vetting Krumpter.
Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) noted that the precinct merger plan and the elimination of the department's "problem-oriented police," or "POP cops," were opposed by Democrats. He said an important attribute in a commissioner is someone who's "able to stand up to the county executive."
Abrahams said his caucus will "go through his background to see if he's a good fit as a commissioner."
Asked how he would judge Krumpter's tenure as acting commissioner, Abrahams said: "If we had to grade him, he'd be fair."
"The commissioner should be someone from inside the department that has the respect of the members from the police officers up to the chief of department," said James Carver, president of the Nassau Police Benevolent Association.
When asked if Krumpter meets that standard, Carver declined to comment.