In what she referred to as “one of the most important appointments that a county executive can make,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced the selection of Patrick Ryder as commissioner of the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD). Curran made the reveal at a press conference, during which she expressed admiration for Ryder’s accomplishments as acting commissioner, a position he was appointed to last July.
“Under [Ryder’s] leadership, crime rates continue to plummet,” Curran said. “He has a real handle on the finances and overtime has gone down as well, which is especially important because of our fiscal crisis here in Nassau County.”
Curran went on to credit Ryder for creating “the think tank and financial intelligence in the asset forfeiture and intelligence unit. By using predictive analysis in the Intel unit, Commissioner Ryder was able to direct police resources based on crime prints, which is incredibly important especially considering our fiscal problems here.”
Ryder, now in his 35th year in the department, served as commanding officer of the NCPD’s Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence Unit from 2008-16.
“I think all of you that know me over the last 34 years, and now starting my 35th, that I will be engaged 24/7, to both do what’s right by the people of Nassau County and do what’s right by all of the membership that work here in the police department,” Ryder said. “I look forward to working with the county executive, the Nassau County Legislature, our community leaders and every citizen in Nassau County.”
Ryder will be considered for confirmation by the legislature at its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 26, “but he obviously is not waiting for that to [face] these very important initiatives,” Curran noted. Ryder’s first order of business, in response to Curran’s desire to further strengthen neighborhood policing, will be to create the Commissioner’s Community Council (CCC), for which Marianela Casas will take on the role of assistant commissioner for community engagement. According to Ryder, the CCC will be comprised of three members from each of the 19 legislative districts, with choices made by the county executive’s office and by the police department. Members will be nominated by their respective legislators.
“We have community councilors that sit in each precinct, but these 19 districts need to be more represented,” said Ryder. “They need to be more in the focus of the people that live in that district. So by taking these areas into these smaller pockets, we’re going to have a bigger outreach into our community than we’ve ever had before. We’re going to take on this opioid crisis that we have in front of us, our gang issue, our crime issues and every other single community issue that we have.”
In expressing confidence going forward, Ryder reemphasized trends of decreased police overtime and higher department morale as evidence of progress he hopes will continue, and praised “the men and women that are doing the job every single day out there for this department.”
“We are bringing pride and professionalism into the department every day,” Ryder said. “As we build our relationships and strengthen the ones we already have, most importantly we can demonstrate that the NCPD—every citizen, in every neighborhood, every time they call—[we will] continue to build our trust within that community.”