Nassau County’s 6th Police Precinct officially reopened Tuesday in Manhasset, marking the end of a saga dating to 2012 when the county merged it with the 3rd.
County Executive Laura Curran announced the reopening of the precinct at its Community Drive location last Thursday morning, surrounded by town, county and police officials and eager bulldozers.
“To create a supersize 3rd Precinct, how was that ever a good idea?” Legislator Ellen Birnbaum (D-Great Neck) said last Thursday. “Policing should be community-oriented. Our residents, our taxpayers who pay high taxes deserve better, so this is a very proud moment when we can all stand here together.”
Renovations to the building that dates back to 1973 will continue through October and will be completed entirely by Department of Public Works staff, said Deputy County Executive for Parks and Public Works Brian Schneider. The upgrades, which will include new ceiling tiles, air conditioning and interior and exterior lighting, will total about $860,000, he said.
“Overall it’s a really incredible face-lift in a relatively short period of time,” Schneider said.
Prisoners will continue to be processed at the 3rd Precinct in Williston Park until the work is done, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
Communities that the precinct will serve, including parts of Manhasset, Great Neck, North Hills and Manorhaven, can expect a precinct that is in touch and responsive, said the precinct’s deputy commanding officer, Daniel O’Connor.
“I’m very happy for the community,” the former 3rd Precinct deputy commanding officer said. “We realize that there is a strong desire to have this precinct here and we’re also happy for the police officers that they have a place. They’re not just the subdivision of another precinct.”
The 8th Precinct in Levittown will reopen Wednesday.
Sue Auriemma, a longtime advocate for the reopening of the 6th Precinct, attended Curran’s announcement Thursday.
“I’m thrilled with the bipartisan cooperation that pushed this across the finish line,” she said. “It was a very political issue from day one.”
Advocacy in communities that the 6th Precinct formerly covered began even before it closed.
Former County Executive Edward Mangano’s plan was to condense the county’s eight precincts to four, an effort he said would save the county money. After eliminating the 6th and the 8th, the pushback was so strong that the rest of the mergers stalled.
“Under the previous administration, I have to say that it sort of felt like out of sight out of mind,” Birnbaum said. “Every time I would mention the 6th Precinct, it fell on deaf ears.”
Curran publicly supported the reopening of the 6th Precinct when running for office, but she did not include it in her county budget and nearly sued the Legislature when it voted to add it as an amendment.
The county executive changed her tone within a week, dropping the threat and announcing that she would approve the reopenings.
At last Thursday’s announcement, she pointed out Auriemma, whom she had met with about the precinct while campaigning for office. It was after that conversation that Curran publicly came out in support of the reopening, Auriemma told Blank Slate Media in October.
“We had a conversation in Starbucks about the importance of getting this done,” Curran said. “I’m really happy that you’re here today and that we’ve come full circle.”