Ford on Precinct Merger: We Can Generate Savings of $20 Million

She says the merger will not impact patrols on the barrier island.

Dubbed by some as "the most important vote in the history of the Nassau County Legislature," Legis. Denise Ford (R-Long Beach) voted in favor of the precinct realignment plan. To her, it was mainly a matter of saving money.

“I realized that we have to close the budget gap,” Ford told Patch on Tuesday morning. “There’s no two ways about it. By doing something like this, we can generate savings of about $20 million a year, which will help.”

The plan, which calls for eight police precincts to merge into four, was approved Monday afternoon by a 10-9 final vote, with each legislator voting along party lines.

In voting for the bill, Ford said that the realignment plan should not impact the Long Beach Police Department, nor police patrols in Atlantic Beach, East Atlantic Beach, Lido Beach and Point Lookout, the areas on the barrier island covered by county’s 4th Precinct in Hewlett, which will remain intact.  

“It shouldn’t effect the Long Beach police at all because they are a separate department,” Ford said, noting that the city does utilize county detectives and other crime scene units. “The patrols will stay the same. So that whatever cars will patrol in Lido, Point Lookout and Atlantic Beach will still be there. And we will also have an increase in what are called POP cops who will patrol at well.”

Ford said she agreed with newly appointed Commisioner Thomas Dale when he presented the plan, but prior to the vote Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams grilled him on it, saying that the legislature shouldn't be voting on something that is constantly "in flux."

The nine Democratic members of the legislature focused their argument against the realignment on the concept that it simply wasn't ready. Abrahams attempted to table the vote on the precinct plan until more details were made available, but the motion was voted down by the legislature and, eventually, the realignment was approved.

"I commend the county legislature for approving this public safety plan that adds more police officers to our community and protects residents from a property tax hike," Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said in a statement. "... This is a win-win for residents as it results in more safety and not more taxes."

The Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, like Abrahams, cited numerous problems with Mangano's plan to merge precincts.

Last week, it was announced that the county had postponed its vote on the merger after "progressive" discussions with law enforcement unions over the weekend.

PBA President Jim Carver said Monday that the PBA and county had made "a lot of strides" in the last week while negotiating. He continued by saying that the legislature should take at least another week to think the decision through and give both sides more time to negotiate. "In my opinion, this was not ready to be voted on," Carver said. "... They were not listening to anybody's argument, they just wanted to vote 'yes' to close the precincts -- that's it."

After the vote, Carver told Patch that he will continue to work with Mangano and his administration on fixing some of the perceived errors in the county executive's plan.

Candygram for Mongo March 08, 2012 at 08:16 PM
i vote for more West End bra's. Less bro's and more bra's.
Billy Boy March 08, 2012 at 09:13 PM
I heard Denise hit her head on the celiing when Peter Schmidt told her to jump!!! Denise has't done anything for her district other than provide Peter Schmidt with a sure unquestioned vote whenever he needs it. If they wanted to save moeny they should close her district office and fire her staff.
Eddie March 08, 2012 at 09:29 PM
If all she's done is vote to save me $20 million in taxes, she's done more for me and my family than the entire Democratic legislature and City Council combined!
joe March 09, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Billy boy i guess you just like having your taxes raised all the time.guys like you hate when republicans have to do it but its ok when dems do it.really get a backbone.
Lloyd March 09, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Next week is St. Partrick's Day...one of my favorite holidays. I hope nobody blasts that like they do Irish Day. To me its all the same. Eat lots of corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, and Irish soda bread. Wash it down with a few pints of Killians or Guinness and sing a few choruses of Danny Boy. Whats so bad about that? I would like to know whats the best restaurant to go to in town to celebrate St Patricks Day. Last year we went to the Whales Tail, but then got scolded here because it is owned by the Sofields. Whaddid I know then???


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