County Legislature passes amendment to reopen 6th Police Precinct

County Legislature passes amendment to reopen 6th Police Precinct
County Executive Laura Curran and Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder earlier this year. Curran did not include the 6th Precinct in her 2019 budget, but the legislature unanimously passed an amendment for its partial reopening. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

The county Legislature unanimously passed an amendment Monday for the partial reopening of the 6th Police Precinct on the North Shore, according to the Democratic minority caucus.

The amendment designates $800,000 in funding for the reopening, part of a $1.6 million bundle to reopen the 6th and 8th Precincts.

The 6th Precinct is currently part of the 3rd Precinct after they were consolidated in 2012, a cost-saving move that sparked community protest and led to efforts by politicians and community groups to restore the precinct.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran did not include funding for the precinct’s reopening in her 2019 county budget, citing a shortage of detectives and a need to be fiscally restrictive because the the Nassau Interim Finance Authority has oversight over the budget.

In an interview last week, she remained confident that reopening the precinct was the wrong decision.

“Opening these precincts, it sounds to me like an empty gesture,” Curran said. “Not only are we in a control period, we do not have enough detectives for actual squads.”

The number of patrolling police officers would not change with the reopening of the precinct, she said.

Legislator Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) said he is not sure why she is taking a position that is so different from the entire Legislature’s.

“As a legislator and candidate she strongly advocated for reopening the precincts. The NIFA control period is irrelevant,” he said. “The expenditure for partial reopening of both precincts is $1.6 million out of a $3 billion budget.”

Nicolello, the Legislature’s presiding officer, said that a partial reopening would allow the Police Department more time to hire detectives while phasing in the precinct. The precinct would gain a supervisory staff that officers would report to.

The 3rd Precinct headquarters is in Williston Park. The 6th Precinct building in Manhasset became a community policing center after the precinct closed.

If Curran vetoes the amendment, Nicolello said he is confident that the Legislature will override it.

Munsey Park resident Sue Auriemma, who has advocated for the 6th Precinct since before it was closed, said that the unanimous bipartisan support of the Legislature is new and makes her hopeful that change is coming.

“There’s never going to be a time when there is excess funding and we can sit down and say, ‘Hey this is a great time to reopen our precincts,’” she said.

Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum (D-Great Neck) said she is happy with the amendment’s bipartisan support.

“This budget amendment reflects a major step toward more effective, comprehensive policing for Nassau County residents and shows what can be accomplished when lawmakers work together on behalf of the taxpayers,” Birnbaum said. “I was opposed to the merger of the precincts when it was first announced in 2012 and have been advocating along with community members for the return of the 6th Precinct ever since.”

3rd Precinct Inspector Gregory Abruzzo said the police will “do what we’re told.”

“We’re good followers,” he said. “We do what the county executive and the police commissioner want us to do.”

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here