Monday's legislative vote to merge Nassau police precincts under County Executive Ed Mangano's new plan has been postponed one week, according to both county and police union officials.
But the reason for the sudden delay is clouded by the hospitalization of one of the key Republican voters on the measure.
Both the county and Nassau Police Benevolent Association said the vote was postponed in an attempt to find "common ground" in regards to the potential precinct merger.
"Law enforcement unions and I negotiated throughout the weekend. Discussions were progressive," Mangano told Patch. "Accordingly, the vote will be recessed for one week."
However, it is unlikely Mangano had the votes to pass the measure Monday. Nassau Legis. Howard Kopel, R-Lawrence, said that Legis. Joseph Belesi, a Farmingdale Republican and a former police officer, is hospitalized.
PBA President Jim Carver said that his organization sat down with the county last week and believes they will get together again today, along with the Superior Officers Association (SOA) and the Nassau Detectives' Association (DAI).
"Maybe there's resolution that we can find," Carver told Patch. "... This was just [a way] to slow everything down and give us a little time to see if we can find some common ground here. And if we can't? We can't."
Carver had previously said that the county was not giving enough thought to the merger and was rushing into something that he believed could negatively change policing for the next 50 years.
"The negotiations that are taking place are for savings over and above those to come from the closings," Legislator Howard Kopel (R-Lawrence) told Patch. "I don’t know that common ground will be found. I hope so, but I will need to see it."
Legis. Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick, says the plan has not been very well thought out and compromises public safety for a "fiscal upside."
"The independent budget review analysis showed the plan would not save the money the administration said it would so I remain opposed to it," Denenberg said. "If the postponement results in a plan with real savings without compromising public safety, I would support it. If the plan does not save money and still compromises public safety, I am not for it."
Nassau Democrats have said they will block the vote on the current plan, however Republicans hold a 10-9 majority in the legislature.
The vote will now tentatively take place on Monday, March 5.