Police address community issues

Local issues arise during public safety forum at E.M. Library


Representatives from the Nassau County Police Department joined County Legislature Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves in hosting more than 70 residents during a Public Safety Community Forum at the East Meadow Public Library on April 24.

During the 90-minute meeting, police officials addressed topics ranging from traffic safety, crime, to local quality-of-life issues that have plagued the East Meadow, Westbury and Salisbury communities for years.

First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Krumpter began the meeting by informing residents that major crime has decreased .29 percent over the last year in Nassau County. He added that two years ago, the county registered its lowest crime rate since police began recording major crime statistics 40 years ago. Last year, he said, was the second lowest.

In the 1st Precinct — which covers all of East Meadow — major crime is down 26 percent year-to-year, and total crime is down 14.5 percent. In the 3rd Precinct — encompassing Westbury and Salisbury — total crime is down 6 percent, but major crime rose 19 percent.

Krumpter added that the police department is soon adding a new class of police officers for the first time in five years — A new police officer has not been added since September 2008.

The plan, said Krumpter, is to bring in a first class of officers in the first week of May, a second class in early August, and a third in September. Based on attrition, a fourth class might be added in December.

About 100 to 120 officers are expected to retire, and Krumpter said he hopes to add about 200 new officers by the end of the year. “We will outpace inflation this year,” he said. “The new blood is going to be welcomed and we are very excited about it.”

The current police count is 2,223. Roughly 17,000 applicants will be tested to determine the new class, said Krumpter.

The discussion then shifted to community issues, as precinct commanding officers fielded questions from residents regarding local topics, including homelessness, traffic safety, and parking nearby the Nassau University Medical Center.

Homelessness at Eisenhower Park

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