Residents send security suggestions to East Williston trustees

While they appreciate recent efforts to boost security, a group of East Williston residents want to see the village take a holistic approach to keeping their community safe.

Six residents sent a letter to village Mayor David Tanner last week outlining several “constant, ever-improving” security measures the village could implement to address concerns about increased crime in recent months.

Residents and village officials discussed several of the ideas at a June 13 meeting, said Stephan Leccese, one of the letter’s authors. But the residents wanted to make sure they hadn’t been forgotten, he said.

“We were looking for measures that could be less temporary and [on] more of a permanent basis. Some of the things that we outlined are maybe a longer term vision of where we want to get to as a village,” Leccese said.

The village last month established a security committee of three residents to explore ways it could strengthen security after spikes in burglaries late last year and in the first half of this year.

It also hired a private security firm in November to patrol village streets. Plans are also in the works to install surveillance cameras at Devlin Field, where vandalism has been reported, Tanner said.

Those are steps in the right direction, Lecesse said, but the letter-writers would also like to see cameras placed at five other locations, more deterrents to criminals such as signs and stickers, and a stronger communcation network between village officials, residents, Nassau County police, the private security patrol and residents.

The village should also review its security plans on a regular basis, wrote the group of residents, which includes a former security professional and a resident whose home was recently robbed twice.

“We’re not looking to blame people, we’re not looking to point the finger, but there are some things we believe should take place and if we can provide some of that input that will really help the board, then we think that’s a good thing to do,” Lecesse said.

The recommendations will be reviewed by the village Board of Trustees and the security committee, comprised of a former village trustee, a longtime resident and a security professional, said Tanner, who declined to give the names of the residents on the committee.

The group is also considering some other measures, such as a license plate reader to monitor suspicious cars, Tanner said.

“We have residents that are interested and we appreciate input,” he said. “We’re here to serve and we have that input and we’re in the process of working through those ideas.”

In an email to residents Monday, the village said more Nassau County police cars have been patrolling the village. Tanner said he meets regularly with officers from Nassau County’s 3rd Police Precinct and said police have recently made some arrests for vandalism and drinking at Devlin Field.

Tanner said two-way communication between residents and the village is key to addressing security issues.

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

By Noah Manskar

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