Public safety was on the minds of the members of the New Hyde Park Village Board during their Nov. 8 meeting at the village hall, especially as they could see the long line of cars’ headlights bumper-to-bumper strung along Jericho Turnpike and three blocks north up New Hyde Park Road as they waited in line for gas at the nearby BP station on Ingraham Lane.
“It was basically obstructing a major thoroughfare in western Nassau County and no police presence; that’s another issue,” Mayor Daniel Petruccio said, also noting that a similar line formed at the off-brand station went all the way to McDonald’s.
“We didn’t see them at all through our entire situation,” deputy mayor Robert Lofaro said of officers from the Third Precinct in the wake of Hurricane Sandy while most of Long Island was still without power and was in the mist of a gas panic and subsequent rationing.
“To be able to go from Nassau Boulevard to the Meadowbrook Parkway without a light six days after the storm and not find one intersection... not covered by police presence, there has been a wholesale collapse of – we don’t like to talk this way because it almost sounds fatalistic – but there’s been a collapse of our structure,” Petruccio said. “We’re a 21st century, modern, first world country and we’re acting like we’re the third world.”
Several telephone calls to Third Precinct Inspector Sean McCarthy were not returned.