The following is from the Rockville Centre Police Department:
The Rockville Centre Police Department has authorization for 52 sworn officers and a support staff of 42 civilians, including dispatchers, neighborhood aides, crossing guards and records management personnel.
The department is one the few agencies in the New York metropolitan area accredited by the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services, maintaining full compliance with 136 training standards. The department supports a dynamic, professional training program, logging more than 800 hours in areas such as emergency vehicle operations, field sobriety testing, hazardous materials handling, firearms, use of force, active shooter response, narcotics enforcement and gang intelligence.
All members are compliant with federal standards of the National Incident Management System, which is required by the Office of Domestic Preparedness in the Department of Homeland Security. Each year the department trains each member on marksmanship and has an extensive firearms requalification program.
In 2011, Rockville Centre became the first village in Nassau County to start a Police Explorer program. The program has been successful and continues to grow.
In 2012, we began a Neighborhood Watch Program where residents can become more involved in the security and safety of the community. It is anticipated that this program will make our safe village even safer.
Hurricane Sandy presented a great challenge for the department. We logged more than 1,100 hours of overtime the week of the storm. The members of the department performed extremely well.
There were numerous close calls involving officers, who risked serious injury the night of the storm while providing service and security to the residents. While crime rose in most of Nassau County, we had a decrease during the storm period. Extra security patrols were provided by our members and augmented by the New York State Police. We had one major crime, a burglary during the storm period.
In a one week period after the storm, we received more than 4000 telephone calls -- about four times the normal amount. We also handled more than 600 calls for service -- about three times the amount we usually handle in a week.
Standing guard and maintaining order at the gas stations was a new task for us but one that was performed well, with no major incidents. In addition, we assigned members to assist Long Beach, whose police department was decimated.
The department is assisted by an 18-member auxiliary force that logs in more than 2,800 hours a year of voluntary service per year ranging from special events such as the St. Patrick's Day parade to Friday and Saturday night youth patrols. They were of tremendous assistance during Hurricane Sandy.
Our investigations unit arrested and assisted in the prosecution of nearly 50 individuals for gang involvement, narcotic sales, gun possession and shootings. They have made a profound effect on the safety of the community and the village should be very proud of their efforts.
In 2012, the department handled more than 17,000 calls for service including 2,000 medical aided cases, more than 1,000 traffic accidents and 1,500 criminal complaints and investigations, making Rockville Centre the third busiest agency behind the Hempstead and Freeport police departments. The patrol force, the backbone of the police department, is tirelessly standing ready to assist our residents and visitors and ensuring the safety of the community.
The department continued its efforts to educate and inform the residents and students of the community with its active participation with the school district. The department is a dedicated member of the RVC Drug and Alcohol Task Force and participates in many events hosted by the district.
The Police Commissioner and superintendent, Dr. William Johnson, meet regularly to discuss the issues facing our youngest residents and ensure their safety and well being. We have an aggressive program in our elementary schools providing education from Internet and bicycle safety to stranger danger and hosting police department visits. Our Explorer Program is an example of our commitment to the young people of our community.
2012 was a challenging year for the department. We had our highlights and our severe challenges. We are looking forward to a safer and even better year in 2013.