MANHASSET - Critics are whipping out new ammunition against County Executive Ed Mangano's (R-Nassau) plan to downgrade half of the county's police precincts. Opponents who participated in a rally today say new crime statistics reveal a spike in crime in Nassau in the first six weeks of this year, compared to 2011. Burglaries rose 69 percent, incidents involving stolen vehicles are up 13 percent, major crime rose 25 percent and total crime jumped 13 percent, the official statistics show. As News 12 Long Island has reported, Mangano's plan would turn four of the county's eight police precincts into "community policing centers" in an effort to save money. Mangano says about 100 desk jobs would be eliminated for an estimated savings of $20 million. Critics have blasted the plan, saying it will jeopardize public safety and push up response times to crimes. Mangano argues his plan will actually increase public protection, saying it will reassign 48 police officers from desk jobs to the streets. The full Nassau Legislature is set to vote on the plan next Monday.

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