Nassau County's Eighth police precinct officially reopened Wednesday after a long battle to overturn a 2012 cost-saving plan that critics have said hurt the county's community policing efforts.
The Eighth, which straddles the Bethpage-Levittown border, was one of two reopened precincts this week, part of a deal Nassau County Executive Laura Curran struck with legislators to end a 2019 budget impasse. Curran, a Democrat who took office in January 2018, decided to reopen the precincts with 2018 police department funds at a cost of $2.2 million — after initially saying there was not enough money to do so.
The other reopened precinct is the Sixth in Manhasset.
“I am pleased to announce that in the past week, the Nassau County Police Department has been able to reopen both of our closed precincts with the full support of County Executive Curran," Commissioner of Police Patrick Ryder said. "Our precinct doors are always open to speak with our police officers, supervisors and POP officers, which in turn keeps those lines of communication open with our entire community."
Legis. John Ferretti (R-Levittown) advocated for the newly renovated building that housed the Eighth to reopen.
"The road to reopening the Eighth Precinct has been a battle that our community has fought hard to win," Ferretti said. "I join with the residents of the 15th legislative district in celebrating our success in convincing the county executive to reopening our precinct."
James McDermott, president of Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, the county's largest law enforcement union currently in contract negotiations, said he intentionally skipped Wednesday's reopening organized by the Curran administration.
“While we are pleased with this outcome, this is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to the several serious problems that face the Nassau Police Department. The county legislature must continue to take action to ensure that our police force is adequately equipped — even if they are met with resistance from the county executive,” McDermott said.