Suffolk residents will soon see Third Precinct officers roll up to emergency calls in certain parts of Central Islip and Hauppauge that previously were covered by the neighboring Fourth, county officials said Thursday.
The changes are a result of repeated requests for nearly a decade from Central Islip residents who said they wanted two intermediate schools in the same jurisdiction as nearby Central Islip Senior High School. Mulligan Intermediate School on Broadway and Reed Middle School on Wheeler Road will soon join the high school in the Third Precinct coverage area.
In exchange, the Fourth Precinct will extend farther south to Motor Parkway from Lincoln Avenue to Old Willets Path, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County police said at a news conference at the Central Islip Library.
Bellone said he first heard of the request at a community meeting about two months ago.
Community leaders said Thursday that the change will hopefully end confusion over who will respond to an emergency in an area bordering the two precincts.
"Any time a situation took place with the kids, one precinct didn't know what the other precinct was doing," said Debbie Cavanagh, 54, vice president of the Central Islip Coalition of Good Neighbors, who attended the news conference. "We wanted it all in one district, one precinct within this area. This precinct will now know everything that is going on."
In addition to coalition members, Bellone was joined by Suffolk police Deputy Chief of Patrol Robert Cassagne, Third Precinct commanding officer Insp. Robert Brown, Fourth Precinct commanding officer Insp. James Rhoads, and members of the Central Islip Civic Council.
Historically, the Fourth Precinct has ranked among the areas patrolled by Suffolk police with the lowest crime rate. Conversely, the neighboring Third Precinct, which this summer has experienced a rash of deadly crimes, is considered among the busiest in the county.
"The issues that exist in the Fourth Precinct . . . aren't necessarily the same priorities that exist in the Third Precinct," said Bellone, explaining one of the reasons for the change.
Bellone said the transition will mean shifts in staffing and adjustments to the 911 emergency calling system.
Islip Town Councilman Steven J. Flotteron said the change was a long time in the making.
"This community no longer has to grab a precinct map to know who to call so when there is a problem, it's black and white," he said.