Law enforcement officials joined community and political leaders advocating the reversal of the 2012 merger between the Sixth Precinct in Manhasset and the Third in Williston Park, in a rally outside of the former Manhasset precinct building.
“You now have a supersized precinct,” Brian Hoesl, president of the Nassau County Superior Officers Association, said at the rally. “You’re not getting the same attention you should be getting.” He added, “This area is the size of a small U.S. city and one precinct cannot cover that.”
North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, who opposed the merger when she was a Nassau County legislator, said the new precinct is “way too large.” She cited increased residential burglaries and the growing heroin epidemic in Nassau County.
Bosworth was among roughly 50 residents, law enforcement officials as well as town and county lawmakers to attend the rally. She said “our district is no longer a local precinct.” She added, “We don’t feel as safe as we used to.”
The Sixth Precinct on Community Drive was turned into a smaller police outpost after the merger, among several the county legislature approved in 2012 in order to save $20 million annually.
While the merger between Levittown’s Eighth Precinct and Woodbury’s Second Precinct took effect, others were reversed. Officials said in 2014 that they would undo the merger between Hewlett’s Fourth Precinct and Elmont’s Fifth Precinct. A merger scheduled between Baldwin’s First Precinct and Seaford’s Seventh Precinct was canceled in 2014.
The rally is the latest push from North Shore lawmakers working to reverse the merger. Bosworth wrote to Nassau officials in December asking them to reopen the Sixth Precinct.
As an example, she said the police response to the Dec. 22 shooting at a luxury watch shop at the Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City meant fewer resources for the North Shore communities in the combined Third Precinct.
Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter responded to Bosworth’s letter by saying she was “wrong” and that “there was no impact to the Sixth Precinct on that day.”
Krumpter said Wednesday that reopening the Sixth Precinct would cost at least $5 million.
“The budget as it’s currently constituted does not support reopening of the precinct,” he said during an unrelated news conference at police headquarters in Mineola.
Hoesl said in an interview after the rally that the issues affecting the Sixth Precinct communities vary from the Third, which he said is Nassau’s busiest and combined, cover 250,000 residents.
“How can you pay attention to the little things that are happening up here, there’s probably a lot more quality of life issues than there are in the Third Precinct.”
With Nicole Fuller