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Yes We Can community center cash thefts prompt changes in North Hempstead

North Hempstead officials are changing cash-handling procedures at all major town parks and facilities after four thefts at the Yes We Can community center in New Cassel.

"The Town of North Hempstead recently discovered four incidences of cash thefts" at the center, Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement. "The Town has notified the District Attorney's Office and Nassau County Police Department, and we are cooperating fully with the investigation. Meanwhile, the Town has implemented changes to controls and procedures at Yes We Can and will be reviewing cash handling procedures at all Town facilities."

Bosworth said she intended "to review internal controls over all Town facilities that handle cash."

Nassau County police spokesman Kenneth Parker said town officials reported the thefts on Friday, saying they occurred in April and May. The case is under investigation, police said.

The center, opened in September 2012, was considered key to revitalization efforts in New Cassel, a hamlet where nearly 18 percent of its 14,000 residents live below the federal poverty designation.

The center was to replace closed community centers in the area. But membership sales had plummeted and revenue did not meet projections in its first year.

Town employees operate the center, which includes the North Hempstead 311 call center and hosts classes and events.

The town already has plans to audit all of its town parks, including Yes We Can.

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