1st Precinct in limbo
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Denenberg, who helped sponsor several rallies protesting precinct consolidation, said that the Legislature was never given a clear indication of when, or if, the unification of the 1st and 7th might occur. He also criticized Mangano for declining to provide information on the repair of station houses that he said were in poor condition prior to Hurricane Sandy.
“The plan was never properly vetted,” Denenberg said. “It changed almost daily. All of us deserve clarity.”
He also questioned how unification would affect crime rates in the communities covered by the 1st and 7th precincts.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said that 176 police cars patrolled Nassau streets before the precinct consolidation, and continue to do so today. Currently there are 24 car posts in the area served by the 1st Precinct, according to Lack, and 21 in the area served by 7th.
But Denenberg said he feared that crime could rise in the areas between Baldwin and Seaford if the precincts merged, because people who are arrested would have to be transported from other areas to be booked for their crimes at the 7th, without being offered any transportation back to the area where the crime was committed.
“They don’t get a chauffeured limousine back,” he said. “It’s a real issue. People pay a lot of money here in Nassau County, and for that money, they want good services and a high quality of life. We’ve seen public safety compromised by losing special forces and reducing police presence, in terms of the precinct houses, by half.”
In spite of the consolidations, Dale said criminal cases are down by a total of 652, year-to-date, in the county. Over the past year, he added, the crime rate has decreased by 8 percent, and the major crime rate is down .29 percent.
According to statistics posted on the department website, reports of major crimes at the 1st Precinct have decreased in the past year (see chart). The 7th, however, saw an increase in major crimes, with the number of reports of grand larceny jumping from 67 to 94.