A commanding officer of the New York City Police Department – and former Marine – will take over the helm of the Nassau County Police Department and provide a “fresh look” at the 2,433-member force.
Thomas V. Dale, 61, Chief of Personnel for the NYPD’s 52,000-member force, has been tapped by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano to serve as Nassau’s police commissioner. Dale is expected to take command on Jan. 2, pending legislative approval.
“Tom Dale has spent a lifetime keeping our region safe from petty criminals to terror suspects. He has the valuable experience and distinguished record necessary to lead the Nassau County Police Department,” said County Executive Mangano. “From operations to performance management on the streets and problems highlighted in the Inspector General’s investigation of the crime laboratory, the Nassau County Police Department is at a crossroads and will benefit from Tom’s experience and leadership. I have the utmost confidence that Tom Dale will succeed in leading the department down the right road for community and taxpayers.”
Since Mangano took office in January 2010, the police department has been beleaguered by the exposure of a series of problems that had been occurring for the past decade. This includes flawed testing revealed at the county’s crime lab. A state inspector general report released earlier this month found chronic systemic failures at the lab. The report found the police-led crime lab bungled drug testing and failed to have sufficient quality controls in place. The county plans to open a new lab run by the medical examiner’s office at the Public Safety Center in Westbury.
Dale, a resident of Oyster Bay Town, said while tackling these managerial missteps, he will also focus on keeping crime rates low in the county. He replaces Acting Police Commissioner Tom Krumpter who took office after former Commissioner Larry Mulvey retired in February. Krumpter will become the department’s 1st Deputy. Dale will also confront claims that some officers have deliberately written fewer traffic tickets during a prolonged labor dispute with the county.
“Taking all these factors into consideration, I believe that Nassau County would benefit from a fresh look at its operations from an experienced law enforcement official,” Mangano told Newsday in an interview Friday.
In that same interview, Dale said “Every officer will be out there to serve the community. That’s what we do for a living. We don’t get paid to lock people up . . . We get paid to serve the community.”
It was after serving in the United States Marine Corps that Dale began his 40-year career with the NYPD, first as a plainclothes officer, and later as a detective and captain. For seven years, he served as commanding officer of the eight southern Queens police commands, during a time when major crime there declined 17 percent. At one point he was deputy chief in charge of a Bronx precinct; a member of the patrol and detective divisions, organized crime control and the terrorist task force.
Dale developed the security plan for the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City and orchestrated initial patrol operations on Sept. 11, 2001, when he was one of the first senior law enforcement officials on the scene. In his role as NYPD’s thief of personnel, Dale managed a $5.8-million budget and was responsible for recruitment, promotions, transfers and medical, pension and personnel evaluations.
In addition to the crime lab report, Dale will face the potential layoff or voluntary retirements of more than 100 department personnel in the next two weeks, unless the police unions offer last-minute concessions.
“I thank County Executive Mangano for this opportunity to serve the people of Nassau County and lead one of the nations’ best and brightest law enforcement agencies,” said Dale. “Nassau County is one of the safest large counties in the nation and I will work tirelessly to ensure it stays that way because I live here too.”