Glen Cove and Sea Cliff officials are in the preliminary stages of exploring whether the can assume police coverage of the neighboring village, Glen Cove said.
“Over in Sea Cliff they had a situation where they don’t believe that their coverage is good,” Suozzi said Wednesday after meeting with Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy, who presented Suozzi with a second draft of a feasibility study.
Suozzi expects to have a proposal for the City Council to review by July.
Kennedy first brought the idea to Suozzi in 2010, and the two have discussed it five or six times since then, Suozzi said. It was . The shared services proposal has moved forward steadily since.
“We got together and talked about it, and I said, ‘You know, I could probably save you money and give you better policing, and you could provide me revenue so I can offset my costs,'" he said.
That’s easier said than done, Suozzi said, because Sea Cliff would first have to exit its contract with Nassau County, which currently provides the village’s policing service. The county would have to release the village from that contract.
Kennedy could not immediately be reached for comment.
There are plenty of questions that need to be answered, such as how Glen Cove’s current force and equipment would match up to the increased coverage. Suozzi said Sea Cliff would be the equivalent of a fifth sector in addition to the city’s four.
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Glen Cove Chief of Police William Whitton said his priority is ensuring that Glen Cove remains properly covered, though he isn’t opposed to the idea of increased coverage as long as there are sufficient plans made to ensure that his force isn’t stretched too thin.
Whitton said he has supplied data requested by the consulting firm handling the research and is pleased with the company’s level of thoroughness.
“Glen Cove is adequately policed, so we could branch out and assume more responsibility as long as we have the proper resources,” said Whitton.
He said his department currently employs just under 50 officers, which due to recent retirements is less than the 58 there should be.
Suozzi said the possibility of more officers and equipment are some of the main aspects to be assessed as research moves forward. The second draft was to fill in some “data holes” that were in the first, he said, and added that the gathering of information would continue.
While Glen Cove’s end of the deal is mainly financial, Suozzi stressed that money cannot be the only aspect. He said the earliest a plan could be implemented would be 2013 and that it would probably be a five- to 10-year commitment. But everything hinges upon a number of variables which have yet to be explored completely.
during a live chat on Wednesday.
“The good news about this is that what we’re exploring here is not something that other communities around the nation haven’t done,” Suozzi said. “Nassau County does it, Suffolk County does it - this shared policing is not a new model, just new for Glen Cove and Sea Cliff, if we pursue it.”