Farmingdale was in the spotlight Monday as the area's legislator and former police supervisor Joseph Belesi
The controversial vote was postponed one week after Legis. Belesi, R-Farmingdale, and it ultimately passed 10-9 yesterday with each legislator voting along party lines.
may have been the decisive one and he said he did so to modernize the police department.
“We are bringing the Nassau County Police Department into the 21st Century," he said. "This realignment plan will save taxpayers millions while adding 48 police officers back onto the street. There will be no reduction in Nassau’s public safety."
Village of Farmingdale praised Belesi's support of the merger on Tuesday.
"Farmingdale has two patrol cars now and will still have the same two patrol cars," Starkie said. "I have no concerns at all. Public safety will not be compromised here one bit."
The precinct merger plan drew stiff opposition from the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, whose president Jim Carver that it could lead to a spike in crime.
"They’re taking 10 pounds of crime and putting it in a five-pound bag," Carver said.
Under the reorganization, the Seventh Precinct will remain open while the Eighth Precinct, which covers South Farmingdale and the Village of Farmingdale, will become a community policing center. East Farmingdale is covered by Suffolk County's First Precinct.
County Executive Edward Mangano says it will save the county nearly $20 million by eliminating more than 100 desk jobs and slashing "costly" built-in overtime benefits.
"After working as mayor for four years, I applaud all ways to efficiently use resources," Starkie said. "Times are different and we need to realize this."
Mangano said a total of 48 police officers will be reassigned from desk jobs to Problem Oriented Police (POP) positions.
"The POP patrols were incredibly helpful in the Village and we're so glad to have them back," Starkie said.
The plan, which could take six months to implement, corrects a "workload imbalance," according to the county, citing that three police precincts presently perform twice the workload of the remaining five precincts.
"Bottom line, we're going to end up even better than before," Starkie said.
Andrew Coen and Ed Robinson contributed to this report.