Consolidation of Nassau County's First police precinct in Baldwin with the Seventh in Seaford has been postponed until mid-March as county workers focus on the recovery from superstorm Sandy, Nassau police officials said.
A farewell ceremony with past and present First Precinct staff had been scheduled for Friday. But First Deputy Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said Wednesday that the merger will be delayed for 90 days so that police and Department of Public Works staff can devote themselves to recovery work.
Krumpter said consolidation would require police payroll staff to spend a week and a half changing security and administrative procedures. The staff is focused on accounting for police manpower hours in the weeks after the storm, he said.
"The payroll piece alone is a significant shift, and right now they are dealing with FEMA accounting," Krumpter said of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is providing aid for Sandy-related recovery efforts.
Police Benevolent Association president James Carver, a critic of the precinct consolidation, said the delay makes sense. "People are still recovering from Sandy on the South Shore, so it's a smart move not to do a consolidation during this time period," he said.
Democratic legislative spokesman Michael Florio said the county should "stop the consolidation altogether and finally build the new First Precinct that the surrounding community was promised."
The First Precinct will be the fourth and final building to be downgraded to a community policing center with fewer staff as part of a reorganization to cut administrative costs. The number of precincts is being cut from eight to four.The precinct was originally set to be consolidated on Nov. 1 but was postponed for several weeks because of the storm and the installation of outside trailers to house police brass at the Seaford precinct house.