1st Precinct in limbo
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The Baldwin-Seaford merger, the final installment of the county’s plan to reduce the number of precincts in the department from eight to four, had been postponed several times in the fall and winter of 2012. Lack attributed other delays to the high demands on the department before and after last October’s presidential debate at Hofstra and several deaths of officers in the line of duty, in addition to issues associated with Sandy.
The 5th Precinct, in Elmont, was absorbed by the 4th, in Hewlett, on Sept. 14. The first merger was completed last May 1, when Levittown’s 8th Precinct moved into Woodbury’s 2nd. The 3rd Precinct, in Williston Park, was absorbed by the 6th, in Manhasset, on July 1.
Lack said that the merger of the 1st and 7th precincts has only been suspended, and that an official decision on the status of the 1st Precinct would be made within a year. He explained that because county officials are considering aligning the South Shore under three precincts rather than two, they are exploring the option of building a new precinct house at another location. Such construction could take up to a year, he said, but he did not say where it might take place.
In their re-evaluation process, Lack said officials are also considering renovating the current 1st Precinct, at 900 Merrick Road in Baldwin, or building a new station house at property on Harrison Avenue and Merrick Road that Nassau County lawmakers purchased in 2010. James Carver, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said he expects to sit down with County Executive Ed Mangano in the coming weeks to discuss the future of the 1st.
Carver added that hopes the county executive will also reconsider mergers that have already been completed, but Mangano has said he feels that the consolidation plan has proven to be fiscally successful. In spite of this, he said, the final merger has been suspended indefinitely.