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Nassau Notebook: Hate Crimes, Jail Demotions, Pharmacist Security

A weekly look-in at the news of Nassau County.

Wave of Hate Crimes

With sudden and increasing regularity, reports of bias incidents against a broad spectrum of religious symbols and houses of worship have spread across Long Island and beyond recently.

Listed below are some of these hate and bias crimes reported in the area recently:

  • An outdoor menorah was desecrated on Gerhard Road in Plainview on the last day of the Festival of Lights, on either Dec. 26-27.
  • That same week, graffiti was scrawled on buildings along Sea Cliff's Main Avenue near St. Boniface School. Detectives said swastikas, the marijuana reference: “420,” the Klu Klux Klan moniker “White Knight” and the letters “WK” were discovered.
  • A statue of the Infant Jesus disappeared from the Nativity scene in front of St. Mary’s Church in Roslyn Harbor on Dec. 30.
  • The following week in Sea Cliff, another swastika was drawn in black marker on a Glen Avenue resident's garage door.
  • In Great Neck, swastikas were scratched into a 1998 Mercedes Benz parked at the Babylonian Jewish Center, sometime overnight on Jan. 6-7.
  • Most recently, police charged a Centerport man with throwing a glass bottle into Huntington's Masjid Noor Mosque driveway from his vehicle.
  • Nassau Police are investigating four incidents of graffiti on residential fences in Rockville Centre Jan. 19, including one involving a racist term.

Nassau Sheriff's Association Files Suit Against Demotions

The Nassau County Sheriff Officers Association filed suit in Nassau Supreme Court on behalf of the Nassau correction officers' union Friday, Jan. 13.

According to a report in Newsday, the union has challenged the demotion of 30 corporals at the county jail in East Meadow, arguing that Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano missed a Dec. 29 deadline to reduce their rank to correction officer.

The report also states that the Sheriff Officers Association has asked for the corporals to be reinstated with back pay.

According to Newsday:

The union, which represents more than 1,000 correction officers, contends the demotions Thursday reduced supervision and jeopardize safety at the jail while putting the former corporals in danger of inmate retaliation for past decisions.

A state judge denied the union's requests to lift the demotions until the case is decided, said Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli, whose office is handling the case with outside counsel.

However, Mangano contends that the unions were well aware of the possible demotions.

"While it pains me to see anyone lose their job or demoted, I informed Nassau’s unions' presidents months ago that layoffs would occur if they did not provide the concessions needed to protect residents from a 19-percent property tax hike and live within the dollars provided to us for the 2012 budget by the County Legislature," Mangano told Patch.

Both parties are due back in court Jan. 20.

Nassau Officials Announce Local Pharmacist Security Summit

Mangano and District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced Tuesday that Nassau County’s Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Prevention Task Force will partner with InfraGard, an FBI public-private partnership, and the Long Island Pharmacy Crimes Task Force to offer a Pharmacist Security Summit on Feb. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at The Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage.

The Pharmacist Security Summit will feature representatives from the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) and Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.  Together, they will discuss their efforts and successes in apprehending and deterring addicts from burglarizing local pharmacies for prescription opiates.

Rice will also address pending prosecutions of doctors and pharmacists accused of illegally dispensing prescription drugs and of individuals filling illegal prescriptions. Additionally, a presentation will be delivered by representatives of Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycodone.

Law enforcement officials have created a list of vulnerable pharmacies in Nassau County and are tracking and arresting criminals guilty of drug diversion – from doctors who overprescribe to those who obtain the pills fraudulently and/or sell their own prescriptions.

LIPA Audit Bill Passes State Assembly

The New York State Assembly on Wednesday passed legislation that requires the Long Island Power Authority to undergo "comprehensive and operational audits," according to a press release from Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, D-Long Beach.

The goal of the Long Island Power Authority Oversight and Accountability Act (A.8957) is to address LIPA's "out-of-control spending and questionable business practices."

Plans Call for NUMC to Hire Non-Union Workers

Officials at Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC), the county's only public hospital, are planning to create a non-profit subsidiary that would allow them to hire non-union employees.

The new entity would be called NuHealth Services Corp., which would co-run the East Meadow-based hospital, according to documents submitted to New York State Health Department

County Launches Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club

Mangano announced Wednesday the creation of the "Inventors and Entrepreneur Club of Nassau County." The organization will provide a network for local inventors and entrepreneurs to collaborate and learn from experts.

The club will provide novice and seasoned entrepreneurs networking and brainstorming opportunities in a safe and secure environment. With a primary goal of helping turn ideas into action, the club will provide assistance in all aspects of the inventing process and enable members to tap into critical resources. Fueled by monthly guest expert speakers, the organization will provide assistance to local inventors in each step of the innovation process.

The club is set to meet monthly in the Ceremonial Chambers of the Theodore Roosevelt County Executive and Legislative Building, 1550 Franklin Ave., Mineola. The first meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.

Kristen Ferrari April 14, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Dave, I'm not talking about fixing a drug problem only after a person is arrested for a crime. A drug problem begins long before that. I'm talking about addressing an issue before it turns into addiction or crime. I'm also talking about treating addiction as the medical problem that it is. You don't have to be an addict to have addiction harm you. As I said before, executing people or locking them away will not bring back people lost to crime or drugs. Why not look at working on addiction as a preventative to crime.
Simba April 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM
If you want more prisons, you want more taxes. Why not ask what are current tax dollars are doing with the likes of the DEA. Or how about all the billions we are spending in Afghanistan only to have poppy continue to be farmed, or how about the millions we give to Mexico and the bang up job they are doing controlling their own people. Do you really want the Gov't to do more, when they are clueless as to what to do.
Dave Kloven April 15, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Simba, I would bet more of my tax dollar goes to social programs that harbor drug dealers/addicts (drug programs, food stamps,welfare,section 8, medicaid, methedone clinics etc.) then to the DEA .. Just think, everytime one of these idiots gets stabbed, shot etc. and goes to the hospital, who pays? ....not them, they have no insurance and the hospital is mandated to treat them and we wonder why health insurance is so high......... who pays for their free public defenders?? .... not them, we do ... They are a huge drain on the system and it afects us at every level..
Simba April 15, 2012 at 01:48 PM
2.02 billion dollar budget is not chump change. My point is not that they are a drain on our system, it's what is the 2.02 billion doing about the problem.
Kristen Ferrari April 15, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Dave, those are all perfect reasons for us to try to look at addiction. In the end we pay whether through programs or treatment. What's so wrong with wanting to work on the addiction end with the idea that we'd need less jails, and social programs? I'm kind of curious as to why you ignore that aspect of it. After all, there are a lot of addicts who aren't committing crimes but they're still costing you money. You're only looking at it from a punitive aspect. What of the many who don't require punitive action?

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