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Bill would mandate Nassau police patrols at religious facilities

Nassau Legislator Arnold Drucker wants to make increased

Nassau Legislator Arnold Drucker wants to make increased police patrols of religious community centers and houses of worship a requirement set out in the county administrative code. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Nassau County legislator wants to make increased police patrols of religious community centers and houses of worship — which officials say already are occurring — a requirement set out in the county administrative code.

Legis. Arnold Drucker (D-Plainview) on Thursday announced a bill that would add language to the section of the code outlining general police duties such as enforcing laws and regulating traffic.

The language would require the police department to “concentrate police resources so as to prioritize the protection of houses of worship and religious institutions, and the lives, security and safety of those attending religious services.”

The measure gives no specific guidance as to what would constitute priory protection of these types of facilities. They would include Jewish community centers, which in recent months have been subject to bomb threats in Plainview and nationwide.

Det. Vincent Garcia, a Nassau police spokesman, said in a statement: “Nassau County Police are always paying attention to our critical infrastructure, especially houses of worship. Due to the recent events around the world, our officers have been instructed to intensify patrols around houses of worship as well as at all governmental buildings, mass transit, critical infrastructure, and at significant public events.”

Garcia did not specifically answer a question about whether the department thought legislation was necessary to ensure intensified police patrols of religious institutions.

Republicans in the legislative majority, who control the flow of legislation, dismissed Drucker’s proposal.

“This arbitrary legislation is nothing more than a partisan attempt to politicize the horrible tragedies that have occurred in houses of worship,” Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) said in a statement.

Drucker, along with all 19 county legislators, is up for election in November.

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