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Nassau Notebook: Democrats Approve LI Bus Partnership, Crime Lab News

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

Democrats Approve Contract with Veolia Transportation

On Monday, County Executive Ed Mangano recognized Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt and Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams for their bi-partisan cooperation in approving a contract agreement with Veolia Transportation to manage and operate Long Island Bus under a new name – Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) – starting Jan. 1, 2012. The contract maintains current fares, preserves the Able-Ride service area and restores the MTA’s planned route cuts, while saving taxpayers over $32.4 million annually and increasing public transparency and accountability.

"The entire Democratic caucus is happy to have worked with County Executive Mangano and his administration, as well as the Republican majority, to negotiate a stronger contract with Veolia," Minority Leader Elect Kevan Abrahams said.  “... Approving the contract with Veolia is a great example of working in a bi-partisan manner and is what the taxpayers expect of us."

Forensic Advisory Board to Guide New Crime Lab

On Thursday, Mangano released the county’s response to New York State Inspector General Ellen N. Biben’s investigation into the Nassau County Police Department’s Forensic Evidence Bureau (FEB) and announced the creation of an independent Forensic Advisory Board charged with reestablishing core capabilities of the crime laboratory and guiding the development, protocols and accreditation of a new crime laboratory to be located in the County’s Public Safety Center (PSC) in New Cassel. As recommended by the Inspector General, the county will expand the review of FEB’s casework to include every discipline.

Mangano has tasked the Forensic Advisory Board with:

  • overseeing the re-establishment of the lab in a new facility under the guidelines which were articulated in the IG's report
  • coordinating the efforts of the relevant County agencies and Inspector General's Office to ensure that the new lab will be fully compliant with state law and will receive accreditation
  • working with human resources agencies to hire the best and most qualified civilian personnel for the lab
  • ensuring that throughout the process there is full and transparent communication and information sharing to all constituencies of the lab
  • serving as a repository and clearing house for all information regarding the rebuilding project.

To date, the county has reestablished toxicology testing and has received provisional accreditation to perform latent print analysis. The county is actively working to re-establish other core capabilities including the testing of bulk evidence and questioned documents. 

NCPD: Seniors Being Targeted by Suspects

Two incidents have occurred in the last few days of persons posing as utility workers or home repair workers who have engaged in the deception/distraction technique. They lure unsuspecting seniors away from their open doors or entice them to other areas of their home while an accomplice enters the home in search of valuables.

The first occurrence was on Tuesday, Dec. 13, in Massapequa Park and the second incident occurred in Jericho on Wednesday, Dec. 14. In both instances, a senior citizen was distracted by one suspect, while a second suspect broke into the home and attempted to steal various items including jewelry. In Massapequa Park the approaching suspect claimed to be from the power company and in Jericho the suspect asked the homeowner if he wanted his gutters cleaned.

Property Tax Deadline Extended

Mangano announced late last week that the deadline for submitting applications for all property tax exemptions for the 2012-13 school and general fund tax year has been extended to Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.  All federal offices and post offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 2, in observance of the New Year’s Day holiday.

To learn more about Nassau County's property tax relief programs or to obtain an exemption application, homeowners should contact the Department of Assessment at (516) 571-1500 or download forms and information from its website.

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