Look at the facts: The police consolidation plan works

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On its website, the Nassau County PBA claims that in the first quarter of 2013 in the newly created combined precincts, most major crimes were up. But County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale responded to these accusations by stating that major crime is actually down by .29 percent this year to date. Dale assured the public that total crime across the county has actually decreased by 8 percent, and misdemeanors and felonies are down by more than 600 cases.

In fact, under Mangano’s leadership, crime has dropped by more than 10 percent, and taxpayers have saved tens of millions of dollars in the process. The plan has been a success by eliminating unnecessary administrative jobs while maintaining a strong, quality police presence.

In a recent Newsday editorial, “Nassau Crime Stats Through a Political Lens,” the paper’s editorial board pointed out the holes in Carver’s claims. Even Newsday, which has never been particularly favorable to Mangano, said, “It seems the PBA is using the crime statistics as a political football, and it’s a ball full of hot air.”

For instance, yes, it is true that the number of major crimes increased in two of the merged precincts, but in a third it decreased by just as much. And major crime jumped more in an unmerged precinct that in any other place.

It isn’t often that I agree with Newsday’s editorial board, but in this instance I must commend it for standing up and reporting the truth. It truly is unfortunate that the police union takes a position so blatantly contrary to the facts.

Carver and the PBA should be working with our government leaders and the police commissioner to create a cost-effective and efficient Police Department for Nassau County’s citizens. The union and the department should not be inconsistent with each other.

Mangano is trying to help the county fight its way out of the massive deficit left by the previous administration, and thus far he has done a commendable job.

This is a time that requires real leadership, not partisan politics. It may be election season, but for the sake of the taxpayers, let’s put the politics aside and focus on the truth.

Al D’Amato, a former U.S. senator from New York, is the founder of Park Strategies LLC, a public policy and business development firm. Comments about this column? ADAmato@liherald.com.

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