The Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations on April 29 launched an online petition to gather signatures as part its campaign to gain the return of the 6th Precinct.
The online petition, which is addressed to the Nassau County Legislature, County Executive Edward Mangano, and Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter, demands that the merger of the 6th Precinct into the 3rd Precinct be undone and the precinct be returned to its former level of staffing and operation.
“Merging of Nassau County’s precincts was proposed to be a major cost saving effort. Four years later, there is no cost savings demonstrated in the County budget,” the civic association wrote in the petition.
The petition also listed complaints the civic associations hope the reopening of the precinct will remedy.
“While the number of sector cars assigned to the area formerly known as the 6th has remained the same, service has been adversely affected,” the civics say. “Sector cars processing an arrest must travel further to do so, those in administrative positions have increased responsibilities and residents wishing to speak with a detective must travel to the Third Precinct.”
The petition also states that residents wishing to file a police report are at times met with long waits at the Community Policing Center in Manhasset that previously housed the 6th Precinct due to short staffing.
Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations President Richard Bentley said the online petition is intended to force the county to see that residents are against the closure of 6th Precinct.
“If you want the county to do something about the issue, you need to take different steps to show that this is an issue with the people your constituents, Bentley said.
“This is not a one community issue,” Bentley added
The Town of North Hempstead followed a letter from the Manhasset civic associations with one of its own, calling for the return of the 6th Precinct. Support was also voiced by the Village of East Hills.
Bentley said he sent out the notice of the petition to other villages on the civic’s mailing list who have in turn forwarded the petition to their constituents.
“All the mayors who are involved in this are aware of what the civic is doing,” Bentley said. “If they want to take action, they can. If they don’t, that’s up to them.”
Village of East Hills Mayor Michael Koblenz said his village’s residents received the petition from Edward Conroy, a representative from the Patrolmens Benevolent Association of Nassau County.
Koblenz said he has put a link to the petition on the village’s website even though he does not believe the merger of precincts has affected police coverage in East Hills.
“As far as our village is individually concerned, we weren’t really affected. When you pull into the village, you’ll see a police station and ambulance, which we built for them.,” Koblenz said. “From our standpoint, it didn’t affect us but we would like it to reopen.”
The petition had garnered 1,739 signatures as of Wednesday morning.
Although there are no laws mandating county officials to respond to the civic’s petition, Bentley said, “it would indicate that there are many people around the town who disagree with the closure of the precinct.”
Acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter has maintained that the merger of the 3rd and 6th precincts has had no impact on patrols to either area and undoing to the merger would not improve the quality of public safety, which he said had remained high.