Village officials question police patrol after precinct merger

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Third Precinct Commander John Berry told Great Neck village mayors last Wednesday that crime in Great Neck dropped 4 percent from 2014 to 2015,

But some village officials said they were not satisfied, saying that the merger of the Third and Sixth Precincts has caused less patrol of the peninsula.

Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral said he has noticed less patrol cars driving through neighborhoods than he used to see when the Sixth Precinct was operational.

“It just seems like since they left the Sixth Precinct, that we see less cop cars in the north side,” Bral said. “We just don’t see them anymore.”

The Sixth Precinct, which was located on Community Drive in Manhasset, was consolidated with the Third Precinct, located in Williston Park, with the Williston Park location serving as its headquarters under a county-wide plan proposed by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and passed in a party-line vote by Republican county legislators in March 2012, as a cost saving effort.

The Third Precinct was then split into two divisions — the Third South Subdivision and Third North Subdivision, which is currently responsible for Manhasset and Great Neck.

Berry, speaking at the monthly Great Neck Village Officials Association meeting, said there are the same number of patrol cars in the area as there were prior to the merger, 25 in the south subdivision and 24 in the north subdivision.

“We didn’t redraw lines,” he said. “The posts stayed the same as they were before.”

Nassau County police patrol the villages of Great Neck, Great Neck Plaza, Russell Gardens, Saddle Rock and Thomaston.

The villages of Great Neck Estates, Kensington, Kings Point and Lake Success have separate village police forces.

Berry also said the recent return of problem-oriented police, or POP, officers would help villages notice more of a police presence.

He added that POP officers were initially removed because the police department had a high number of officers retiring.

“We’ve been hiring like crazy over the last year or two so now we’re starting to fill up the ranks again,” Berry said. “Now there’s been the opportunity to bring the POP guys back.”

Village of Saddle Rock Mayor Dan Levy said he appreciated the return of the POP program because a POP officer recently helped respond after a resident’s home was burglarized.

“I am very happy with its re-institution,” Levy said.

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