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4 Nassau County police precincts to close

March 5, 2012 8:07:05 PM PST
A controversial proposal to convert four Nassau County police precincts into community policing centers, reportedly saving millions, was passed in a vote of 10-9 Monday by the County Legislature.

Residents Eyewitness News spoke with are not going to sleep well Monday night.

They are used to having the 5th precinct in their backyard in Elmont and the thought of it not being there anymore has unnerved them.

"This is not the wild wild west. This is where live. Moving the precinct is not the right thing. Move something else," a resident said.

In a contentious vote split down party lines, the republican county legislators decided to downsize half the precincts in Nassau County.

So, instead of eight precincts, there will now be four.

The county executive insisted it is a win-win deal.

"There will be more cops on streets, less in seats. You will save money and have more police," Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said.

Here's Mangano's plan:

The county will eliminate 100 officers from the payroll for an estimated $20 million in savings a year.

There are currently 177 sector cars patrolling neighborhoods. That will not change.

However, there will be more officers doing actual policing. 48 officers will move from administrative jobs inside the closing precincts to the streets.

The county executive is now trying to assure jittery residents that cutting back on precincts will not cut back on safety.

He released a statement Monday evening saying: "I commend the County Legislature for approving this public safety plan that adds more police officers to our community and protects residents from a property tax hike.

Residents should know that Nassau's new Community Policing Plan keeps all 177 patrol cars in their current neighborhoods, adds 48 additional police officers to our community to fight crime, transforms four precincts into Policing Centers for public access and saves residents up to $20 million annually.

This is a win-win for residents as it results in more safety and not more taxes."

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