Residents Voice Concerns Over Proposed Police Precinct Closure

Frustrated residents said they didn't want budget cuts to put public safety at risk, while police attempted to calm the fears of the community.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC New York

    Dozens of people showed up at the Valley Stream American Legion on Long Island Wednesday to voice their concerns over a plan to close their neighborhood precinct.

    Frustrated residents said they didn't want budget cuts to put public safety at risk, while police attempted to calm the fears of the community.

    "Who do we have to talk to if there's any kind of issue?," asked one resident.

    Deputy Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said the closures will not affect police on the streets, and that it was only realigining the force, not cutting it.

    As for a recent uptick in burglaries, he said it was more about the weather than anything else.

    "The biggest reason why burglaries are so much higher in 2012 versus 2011 is snow," he said.

    The explanation was met with groans and head shakes from the crowd.

    "I say we pray for snow then," said one police officer from the soon-to-be-closed 5th Precinct. "Let's pray for snow all year around. That's ludicrous."

    Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said the realignment will save the county $20 million but it won't affect response time, and that it is necessary in order to not raise taxes. His plan goes to the full county legislature on Feb. 27.