County Executive Edward Mangano and Nassau's Police Benevolent Association have negotiated a deal to leave more officers in the Sixth Precinct headquarters building than originally planned under a cost-savings proposal to consolidate the North Shore precinct with another based in Oyster Bay, officials said Thursday.
While initially only a desk officer was to remain in the precinct's Manhasset headquarters, PBA president James Carver said the county now plans to retain three desk officers, a supervisor and a commanding officer while shifting administrative functions to the Second Precinct in Woodbury.
"My number one concern was when the public walked into that station house, they saw and got the exact-same thing they always got," Carver said.
Both Mangano and Carver said the same number of police would patrol the neighborhoods in the Sixth precinct, which includes Great Neck, Manorhaven and Glen Head, while still saving $20 million to $22 million next year by not replacing 125 officers countywide who have opted for a retirement incentive program.
Skeptical, Legis. Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) said she has asked the legislature's Office of Budget Review to do an analysis. "Until I get this, it is difficult to determine if there really will be those savings and that the health, safety and welfare of the residents will be maintained at the same level," she said.
Carver said administrative personnel from county police headquarters will replace retiring patrol officers.
Mangano said he is still negotiating with police but wanted to dispel rumors that the Sixth Precinct was closing. "We're trying to send a message, with respect to the public, there is no change and there never was going to be," he said.
The Republican county executive bashed state Sen. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington) and Legis. Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn) in a news release for "misinformation and politically motivated fear tactics" about his plan. He later dropped Wink from the release, accusing Minority Leader Diane Yatauro (D-Glen Cove) of "riling up" Democratic lawmakers to attack him.
Yatauro never returned three phone calls, while Johnson, also, "doesn't pick up the phone to get one fact," Mangano said. "If they attack us in a partisan fashion, then we will start attacking back."
A Johnson spokesman said Mangano "floated a detail-deprived" plan to remove police from Johnson's district and then has "the gall to attack Senator Johnson for standing up for his constituents. Who is playing politics here?"
Yatauro said her staff returned Mangano's calls. "How dare the county executive dismiss as 'political fear-mongering' our requests for facts. He is the one who hasn't handled himself properly," she said in a statement.
Wink said, "Asking questions to flush out the details of a plan like this should never be confused with fear tactics."