3rd Precinct gets new top cop

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3rd Precinct gets new top cop
Insp. Daniel Flanagan is the commanding officer of the Williston Park-based 3rd Police Precinct. (Photo from Nassau County Police Department)

Nassau County’s 3rd Police Precinct has a new commanding officer, its third in two years.

Police Insp. Daniel Flanagan took over for Deputy Chief John Berry in the 3rd Precinct’s Williston Park headquarters Thursday following Berry’s promotion to executive officer of patrol.

Flanagan, now in his 27th year on the force, had been the commanding officer of the Baldwin-based 1st Precinct since January 2014. Before that he was commanding officer of the Nassau police academy for about three years.

Flanagan will oversee all operations of one of Nassau County’s largest precincts, stretching from Manorhaven south to East Garden City and from New Hyde Park east to New Cassel.

Flanagan could not be reached for an interview, but Berry, who worked with Flanagan early in his police career, said he will “be a good fit for this precinct, I believe — from one busy precinct to another busy precinct.”

Berry, a 24-year cop, was promoted after about 17 months at the helm of the 3rd Precinct, where he succeeded Deputy Chief Sean McCarthy in August 2015.

He had been a precinct commander since 2010, previously leading the 2nd, 4th and 5th precincts, he said.

Berry will replace McCarthy in his new role as the third-highest officer in the department’s patrol division overseeing all patrol officers in the county’s six police precincts. McCarthy is moving to a new position in the department’s support division, a police spokesman said.

“I had a background of experience to be able to guide my peers in running their precincts,” Berry said.

As a cost-saving measure, the 3rd Precinct was merged in 2012 with the former 6th Precinct, now known as the 3rd North Subdivision, which encompasses the Roslyn, Manhasset, Port Washington and Great Neck areas.

The precinct includes major traffic arteries, Nassau County’s government buildings, major hospitals and Roosevelt Field mall.

Navigating the precinct’s large size was a challenge, Berry said, but he tried to maintain open communications with the 26 village mayors in his territory, as well as Town of North Hempstead officials and local civic leaders.

Berry credited the precinct’s officers with driving down crime in the area by 9 percent last year compared with 2015, he said.

Local officials and civic leaders last year called for the county to undo the merger, saying police service had suffered while the stated cost savings were not being realized. Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter defended the move, saying it saved the county millions of dollars without sacrificing any patrols.

Berry said he understood why residents would want their home precinct reopened, but noted that the former 6th Precinct building in Manhasset has remained open as a community policing center staffed by two officers.

“If I run two precincts or one precinct, it’s up to them [the county],” Berry said. “I just try to do the best job I can.”

Turnover in the 3rd Precinct’s leadership has not been unusual given the regular shifts in police department staffing, Richard Bentley, president of the Greater Manhasset Council of Civic Associations, said.

Bentley praised Berry for his responsiveness to concerns about police service and his quick answers to requests or questions from civic leaders.

“He’s been a good ally and has listened to the community as best as his resources in the precinct are able to, and we just wish him well in his new role,” Bentley said.

Reach reporter Noah Manskar by e-mail at nmanskar@theislandnow.com or by phone at 516.307.1045 x204. Also follow us on Twitter @noahmanskar and Facebook at facebook.com/theislandnow.

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