Nassau County's first community policing center officially opens Tuesday in Levittown in what had been the Eighth Precinct. That's an impressively quick transfer from plan to action.

Months of political and police turbulence over County Executive Edward Mangano's cost-cutting plan to consolidate the eight precincts into just four ended with legislative approval in March. Three more local centers with reduced staff and functions -- in Manhasset, Elmont and Baldwin -- are slated to open, in that order by year's end.

In this first phase, the Second Precinct in Woodbury will take over the Eighth's responsibility for handling criminal suspects. Although the downsized centers will still be open 24 hours and staffed by police, the plan's personnel reductions are estimated to save about $20 million.