Patch reported on Monday, that Nassau County legislators voted yes to approve County Executive Ed Mangano's plan to merge the county's precincts from eight to four.
The 10-9 vote was one of three such totals on the day – the other two coming on votes for commissioner and tabling the precinct vote until next week.
Legis. Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick, said he voted against the plan for a number of reasons.
"It was incredible that a plan that was still being negotiated was voted on," he said. "The plan to close four precincts relies upon an incentive to reduce the police force by 100 people to save money, but that reduction doesn't necessitate closing precincts, so the savings have nothing to do with the closure plan."
Denenberg said that despite the administration's claimed that the plan would put more police on the street, it will not.
"In the last year, our special patrols were all but eliminated and the 48 police officers Mangano claims will be put into problem oriented policing are the same officers he has assigned to desk jobs at the community policing centers," he said.
Reinaldo Nunez, president of the North Bellmore Civic Association and a North Bellmore resident, had questions about the issue.
"They claim that they are going to move 48 officers but they are going to need those 48 officers to maintain the facilities -- so where are the savings?," Nunez said. "We are going to need people to man buildings while officers are on vacation and what are they going to do with the buildings. They say they will use them for community services, but how are they going to manage that?"
Denenberg said that he is concerned that by reducing the number of precincts, the county executive and police commissioner will be able to reduce the number of officers assigned to patrol.
"While they say they are not doing this, they will have this authority and I suspect that they will reduce the number of patrols in the near future," he said. "While such action will allow deep cuts in police spending, it will be at an even greater cost to public safety. I believe that this entire plan is ultimately after minimum manning provisions because otherwise the plan has no savings and makes no sense."