Can you smell it? I sure can. It’s the smell of an election season. And in Nassau County, like any other local election, politics become personal, and they can get nasty.
With November’s voting not that far off, the games are only just beginning.
You’ll recall that in February 2012, County Executive Ed Mangano sought to balance the county’s budget, and proposed a plan to eliminate more than 100 Nassau County Police Department desk jobs and modernize the 1970s eight-precinct-building plan, taking into account the last 40 years of technology, which has reduced police officers’ administrative workload.
The plan was passed by the County Legislature, and took police officers from behind desks and put them on the streets in the county’s problem areas. The plan converted four of Nassau’s eight police precincts into new Community Policing Centers, while keeping all 177 cars that patrol Nassau’s streets at any given time in their current neighborhoods.
The plan has turned out to be a slam dunk for county taxpayers. According to the county executive’s office, it will save them an estimated $20 million per year by getting rid of all those unnecessary administrative jobs.
Since its inception, however, the police union, one of the most powerful unions on Long Island, has tried to fool the public with scare tactics, claiming that public safety has been jeopardized. At a recent news conference, James Carver, the head of the Police Benevolent Association, claimed that there has been a surge in major crime in Nassau County over the past three months.
Carver stated that he believes the spike in crime was caused by the cost-cutting plan. He claimed that he called the press conference because he felt that the “people should be alarmed.”
Carver should be ashamed of himself for using such tactics. Don’t be fooled — this is nothing more than a political ploy.