County: Nassau County
Population: 10,001 to 50,000
2017 Local Government Achievement Award
Village Hall: (516) 377-2300
The Village of Freeport implemented “Operation Safe Streets,” which includes quality of life meetings where any resident or business owner can visit the mayor’s office to speak with the mayor directly. The village also equipped all patrol police officers with body cameras, the first Police Department in the State to mandate the use of the equipment. And the village installed a fiber optic loop around the village’s perimeter and installed 27 fixed license plate readers (LPRs), which instantly alert all patrol police vehicles of certain criminal activity.
All videos from the body cameras are stored for 120 days, which has reduced the cost for prosecution attorneys as most criminals will plea bargain when the video is viewed. The deployment of body cameras builds confidence with the community as well as protection for the police officers. The LPRs alert police vehicles of revoked registrations, stolen vehicles, stolen license plates, wanted individuals, and Amber Alerts, with other options available. In the first year Freeport Police impounded 1500 vehicles, arrested 72 wanted persons, and issued 6,500 tickets thanks to the LPR program.
The total cost for “Operation Safe Streets” was approximately $800,000. The village received a loan of $300,000 and a grant of $150,000 from Nassau County. The village has reduced crime by 24 percent over the last two years.
It is our intent to make this an annual event, and to communicate it in such a manner as to grow the attendance and diversify programming each year. The next installment of the event will be in the fall of 2017.