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Laura Curran taps Patrick Ryder as Nassau Police commissioner

Patrick Ryder, shown in December 2017, is expected

Patrick Ryder, shown in December 2017, is expected to be nominated by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran as county police commissioner. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran on Wednesday will nominate acting Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder as the first permanent leader of the 2,500-member department in more than four years.

“Pat Ryder’s almost 35 years of Nassau County police experience will guarantee the exceptional level of safety that the public expects all while controlling police overtime costs,” Curran said in a statement Tuesday. “Pat shares my vision for community engagement and the importance of neighborhood policing.”

Ryder called it “an absolute honor to be named as Commissioner of Police in Nassau County . . . I will work tirelessly to ensure that the residents of Nassau County are protected.”

Curran, a Baldwin Democrat who took office Jan. 1, had been eyeing multiple candidates for the position but ultimately decided to keep Ryder, a 32-year veteran of the force.

Ryder, 55, will make $249,500 in the post, has served as acting commissioner since July. He must be confirmed by the GOP-controlled Nassau County Legislature.

Curran is scheduled to make the announcement during a news conference Wednesday at Nassau Police headquarters in Mineola. Ryder also is expected to announce a new community policing initiative.

“The NCPD is one of the largest departments in the nation and there is no room for any upset in operation,” said Curran’s spokesman, Mike Martino.

Ryder is a former detective sergeant and commanding officer of the Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence Unit.

Ryder helped overhaul the department’s crime-mapping strategy, which police officials credit with helping to reduce crime in the county.

Former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano selected Ryder last summer to replace acting Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.

Krumpter had replaced former Commissioner Thomas Dale, whom Mangano forced out in December 2013 after prosecutors found he personally directed officers to arrest a witness in a politically charged election-year case.

James McDermott, head of the Nassau Police Benevolent Association, called Ryder “a great selection” who will be welcomed by the department’s uniformed officers.

“Pat is all about the job,” McDermott said. “He grew up in this department. He’s diligent, smart, and a tough guy. I can’t say anything bad about him.”

Legis. Denise Ford, of Long Beach), chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee, said Ryder “has proven himself as an effective leader” of the department. Ford is a Democrat who caucuses with Republicans.

“His various skill sets have given him the ability to deal with all levels of policing,” said Ford.

Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said Ryder has managed the police budget “without curtailing public safety. We look forward to his confirmation hearing and to working with him as commissioner.”

Ryder began his law enforcement career with the NYPD, serving for about two years in the 1980s patrolling the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.

Ryder entered the Nassau police academy in 1986 and won numerous awards and medals of commendation. In a 10-month tour with a narcotics team, he made 200 arrests.

In 1990, Ryder was charged with beating a handcuffed suspect outside a Merrick bar. A Nassau judge later threw out the indictment, and a second grand jury declined to indict him.

In 2016, Ryder investigated a sexting scandal, which turned out to be a hoax, involving Mangano and a county contractor.

Ryder told a room full of reporters at a news conference announcing the results of his investigation that he personally told Mangano that if he lied to him, “I will be the guy that walks in and puts the handcuffs on you, no problem.”

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