Budget cuts 'handcuff' Lynbrook P.D.
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Police officers must regularly take training classes to remain up to date on the latest methods and techniques — from firearms recertification to dealing with a wide range of situations to familiarization with new headquarters procedures and systems. Budget cuts, Paladino said, have made the LPD more proactive in training its officers internally, and it does so three days a week. He said that although he has received quality training from Nassau County during his career, county resources are stretched so thin that it is more convenient to handle some training in-house.
“We were not getting adequate training, and we’ve internalized it,” he said. “There’s a bit of a cost factor added on to our department budget to cover that, but it’s pennies [compared with] what would happen if we didn’t do the training and got sued.”
School-police liaisons affected
The NCPD’s budget cuts have also affected Lynbrook schools, specifically South Middle School and Waverly Park and Marion Street elementary schools. The 4th Precinct provided police liaisons to these buildings as part of the Problem-Oriented Policing program, but those officers have been reassigned to patrol duty until next year.
Superintendent of Schools Melissa Burak announced at the June 11 Board of Education meeting that the liaisons would be removed from the schools. Those officers attended the schools’ health and safety meetings and worked with administrators to review and practice lockdown and lockout drills.
“The ability to have a point person as a contact should something arise in our schools is extremely valuable,” Burak told the Herald. “When dealing with difficult situations, we always want to make sure we abide by lawful measures, while still providing security for all under our care.”
Burak said she reached out to County Executive Ed Mangano and County Legislator Francis Becker, voicing her concern about safety at the schools, and that Becker told her that the situation was only temporary.