Since last week, when Long Beach lifted its city-wide curfew that was imposed after Hurricane Sandy knocked out power and other vital utilities, the police department has initiated a “blue-gray” patrol, in which officers are paired with State Troopers to perform around-the-clock tours, and it has created more posts.
“We’ve taken our five posts that we typically have and we’ve divided them into nine sectors,” said Sgt. Eric Cregeen, a spokesman for the Long Beach Police Department. “So that’s given each officer a smaller area to patrol and we’ve doubled up the cars with a trooper and the police officer.”Like Long Beach Patch on Facebook.
All LBPD officers have performed 12-hour tours since the start of the curfew, a
policy that will continue until Commissioner Michael Tangney sees fit to lift it, Cregeen said. Despite that Sandy rendered many LBPD officers effectively homeless, they continue to work their tours.
“We have guys who live in Island Park and Oceanside that were affected by the storm, and we have one guy in Seaford who lost everything,” Cregeen said.
The curfew was lifted at a special City Council meeting
Nov. 20, but City Manager Jack Schnirman said then that the city would maintain indefinitely the state of emergency that was declared prior to Sandy’s arrival on Oct. 29. The curfew aimed primarily to deter potential looting
of homes and businesses
in the powerless and partially vacated city, and Long Beach police, Nassau police, State Troopers and National Guard worked in together to protect residents and property.
In preparation for the hurricane, the LBPD had planned to park its fleet of vehicles on the second level of the parking garage located directly across from police headquarters, but Sandy altered those plans.
“They couldn’t sit idle when people are calling for help,” Cregeen said about the fleet, half of which was totaled. “We had to get out there to the people and that’s how we ended up losing the cars.”
The department expects it may lose more vehicles. “That’s just face value,” Cregeen said about the roughly 12 cars that were destroyed. “With the salt water, two or three months from now we may see some major problems with the remaining cars.”
Some officers and troopers have peformed their blue-gray patrols in cars from various areas, including Hempstead and Albany, as well as in state vehicles and a Humvee.
Meanwhile, the LBPD’s weekly police report
, released Tuesday, lists two arrests, a smaller number compared to pre-Sandy blotters, which Cregeen attributed in part to the blue-gray patrols. “There’s an omnipresence of officers on the streets,” Cregeen said. “You can’t turn a corner without seeing another police car out there.”
About an incident on East Olive Street on Sunday night or Monday morning, in which four wheels were stolen
from a new 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Cregeen said that it was an isolated incident that is not indicative of any crime spree. Be a Follower. Explore and subscribe to Patch groups.
Immediately after the storm the LBPD received 30 reports of missing vehicles, but none turned out to be stolen. “Our detectives ran down every one and we were able to locate every car, which either floated to another location or was towed away,” Cregeen said.
Of the trucks that towed storm-damaged cars out of town, Cregeen said the traffic department provided a detailed account of the towing services in the city. “They had all out-of-town guys registered that they were bringing in and we knew where every car was from the storm onward,” he said.
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