Did partisan politics play a role in the County Executive Edward Mangano’s plan to realign Nassau’s eight police precincts? Nassau Democrats certainly think so.
They point out that three of the four precincts set to become community policing centers are in Democratic-represented districts.
The First Precinct in Baldwin is in Legis. Joseph Scannell’s district; the Fifth Precinct in Elmont is home to new Legis. Carrié Solages and the Sixth Precinct in Manhasset is in Legis. Judi Bosworth’s district. Only the Eight Precinct in Levittown, also set to become a community policing center, is led by a Republican, Legis. Dennis Dunne, who chairs the Public Safety Committee.
Asked if he believed the precinct plan was politically drawn, minority leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said “it certainly reads that way.”
Other Democrats were even harsher in their indictment. “This is not just bad policy,” Legis. Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn) said at a news conference in Elmont on Tuesday. “It’s bad politics.”
Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin called the allegation “absolutely ridiculous.” He noted that the Eighth Precinct is in the backyard of Republican Party chairman Joe Mondello and is located only a few blocks from Mangano’s home in Bethpage.
Democrats also accused Mangano of going back on a promise made last year not to close the First Precinct -- which is being replaced by a new building -- or the Fifth Precinct, which is among the county’s busiest.
Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) said Mangano's vow to protect the Fifth Precinct only applied when Republican Legis. John Ciotti held the seat in the Third Legislative District. After the seat was won by Solages last year “the county went back on their word,” Denenberg said.
Nevin, however, said no closures would occur under the realignment plan. “County Executive Mangano’s Community Policing Plan keeps all current buildings open while reassigning 48 police officers from behind desks to assist residents,” he said.