June 10, 2014 | 850 views
Nassau police commissioner defends ‘POP cop’ reassignments
Elmont residents come out to express concerns on crime
The plan to reassign 45 of the county police department’s plainclothes officers — including 12 dedicated to fighting gang violence — to patrol duty until next year drew the ire of Democratic legislators when it was announced late last month. Last week, many Elmont residents expressed their outrage over the plan that is designed to save the taxpayers $4.4 million in overtime costs.
At a community meeting at Elmont Library on June 3 hosted by county Legislator Carrie Solages, an Elmont Democrat, dozens of community members voiced their concerns about the rising instances of crime and gang-related violence in their neighborhoods. Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter, who also attended the meeting and answered residents’ questions, said that crime is down in Nassau County.
“We have the distinction of being the safest large community in America,” he said. “This time in 2012 versus this time in 2014, crime is down 20 percent. That’s the major index crimes, which are most concerning to people.”
Krumpter also said that the transfer of Problem-Oriented Police officers — ‘POP’ cops — was both temporary and necessary, and that there are officers who will continue to perform plainclothes investigations.
“I’m not going to tell you that the ‘POP cops’ don’t add value,” Krumpter said. “It’s one of the most difficult decisions to make because they do add value, and they have such a great relationship with the community. Cuts are never easy. But what is being ignored is that we have approximately 150-plus plainclothes officers that do that street-type enforcement. This is a temporary order. [It] expires on Dec. 31.”
Solages said that the plan violates a contractual agreement that was made when some of the county’s police precincts were consolidated nearly two years ago.