Nassau Police brace for biggest security challenge in decades

Nassau County police lining the streets of Hempstead

A cooperative effort between Campus Public safety, Nassau County Police Department, and the Secret Service will safeguard the presidential debate on Monday, September 26, at Hofstra University. At the time of the 2012 debate Nassau County PD acknowledged putting 400 officers as security for the event. But, perhaps understandably, this year these agencies prefer to keep their security measures under wraps until after the debate.

Detective Vincent Garcia of the Nassau County Police Department said, “Obviously our main concern is public safety. We have done this twice before and will have adequate manpower to protect the attendees, the media covering the event, the protestors and the public.” He explained that a “substantial” amount of officers will work to protect the debate, but he declined to disclose the actual number of officers at this time. Garcia said, “NCPD will be prepared to handle however many [people] show up.”

“This is arguably the most significant security event in the last 30 years in Nassau County,” said acting Nassau Police Commissioner, Thomas Krumpter, at a press conference at the university on Tuesday.

Krumpter said his department has been preparing for the debate for months, among other measures, they have constructed security fences around the campus and along Hempstead Turnpike. Estimates of 10,000 protestors at this year’s debate have emerged in recent days.

As of now, the Nassau County Police Department provided the public with one significant security measure detail – street closings: The closing of Hempstead Turnpike between Eisenhower Park and Oak street from noon to midnight and of Earl Ovington Boulevard and Charles Lindbergh Boulevard between 5 A.M to midnight, as well as several residential streets becoming only one way.

Secret Service Agent, Joseph Muscatello, explained that TV personnel, large public crowds, and politicians tend to bring out chaos, but also declined to speak further about the security plans for the debate.

Likewise Hofstra Public Safety officials declined to discuss any details on the security protocols their departments have taken to prepare for the debate.