McMahon: Police Contract a Key Obstacle to Recovery
On Wednesday, Newsday published an op-ed piece from E.J. McMahon of the Manhattan Institute's Empire Center for New York State Policy in which he said that "it was inevitable that the county's police contract would emerge as a key obstacle to recovery" as Nassau "stumbled back into fiscal crisis mode."
McMahon discussed several problems with the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) including large salaries, generous pensions, vacation time, early retirement and "minimum manning" — the term applied to the requirement that all but two posts be filled during every shift in every police precinct.
Unaffordable public employee union contracts are a problem all over New York. But the Nassau PBA contract is extraordinarily costly and inefficient, even absent the fabulously lucrative buyouts Nassau wants to give some veteran officers to go away. Median pay for Nassau officers as of 2011 was $150,000 -- 46 percent above the median for teachers, administrators and other professionals in Nassau school districts, who are among the best-paid K-12 educators in the country.
Jim Carver, President of the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, said there's a higher cost of living on Long Island and the Nassau cops are paid comparable to other law enforcement departments across the Island.
As for the "fabulously lucrative buyouts," Carver said that the termination pay was approved by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA).
"NIFA gave the county authority to borrow $80 million in termination pay over the next three years and this was just a way of speeding up retirements -- for those who were looking to go -- to save payroll by hiring younger, less expensive police officers," Carver told Patch.
Mangano, Dale Announce 77 Arrests for Burglary in 2012
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Dale Thursday reported the arrest of 77 burglary-related individuals in the past 8 weeks, with 54 arrests related strictly to residential burglaries. The arrest of eight individuals resulted in the closure of 34 burglary cases in 2012. According to police officials, a significant number of individuals arrested for home burglaries were addicted to or seeking prescription drugs.
According to Nassau County Police Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki, since 2010 when Mangano took office, statistics indicate that overall major crime is down approximately 10 percent. However, residential burglaries are up by less than 1 percent.
According to statistics from the NCPD, there were 225 burglaries in the first month of 2012, compared with 133 in the first month of 2011.