Acting Commissioner Thomas Dale is confirmed as Nassau Police commissioner...

Acting Commissioner Thomas Dale is confirmed as Nassau Police commissioner and answers questions about precinct closures to the Nassau Legislature in Mineola. (March 5, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

More than three months after being selected for Nassau's top police post, Thomas Dale was confirmed Monday as commissioner of the county's 2,400-member department.

The county legislature's 10-9 approval was along party lines, with the GOP's majority endorsing Republican County Executive Edward Mangano's choice.

"Speaking for the majority, you will enjoy our full confidence," said Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa), adding that he expected Dale, 62, to re-instill confidence in a very shaky police department.

Later, Mangano issued a news release saying he was pleased with the confirmation and that "Commissioner Dale is undertaking a critical review of departmental operations and will provide distinguished leadership."

Dale, who served 42 years in the NYPD and retired last year as one of its eight top chiefs, made no comment as he stood before the legislators in the confirmation process.

During Dale's confirmation, most of the commentary came from the nine Democrats, and was negative based on Dale's support for what he has called "my plan" to reduce the county's eight precincts to four. The other four are to be turned into police community centers.

"Your legacy is already written," said Legis. Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn).

Administration officials have said the precinct reduction will not cut patrol car coverage.

But Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick), said he disagreed, noting that once the plan is adopted "you and the county executive can reduce the number of patrol cars on our streets, and I think you're going to do it."

Dale, a resident of Oyster Bay Town, had been a member of the NYPD since 1970, starting as an officer and moving up the ranks from detective to captain. He served as commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens South, as executive officer of the NYPD's Patrol Services Bureau and as chief of personnel.

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