Nassau County, New York

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Nassau County, New York
County of New York State
County of Nassau
Hempstead House, part of Sands Point Preserve
Flag of Nassau County, New York
Seal of Nassau County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Nassau County
Location in the U.S. state of New York
Map of the United States highlighting New York
New York's location in the U.S.
Founded 1899
Named for William of Nassau
Seat Mineola
Largest town Hempstead
 • Total 453 sq mi (1,173 km2)
 • Land 285 sq mi (738 km2)
 • Water 169 sq mi (438 km2), 37%
Population (est.)
 • (2016) 1,361,500
 • Density 4,777.2/sq mi (1,844.5/km2)
Congressional districts 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC−5/−4
Footnotes: Population is 2015 Census estimate.

Nassau County /ˈnæsɔː/ or /ˈnæs/ is a suburban county comprising much of the western half of Long Island in the U.S. state of New York. At the 2010 census, the county's population was 1,339,532, estimated to have increased to 1,361,500 in 2016.[1] The county seat is in the Village of Garden City within the boundaries of the Mineola 11501 zip code.[2][3][4]

Nassau County is directly east of New York City limits and therefore also within the New York metropolitan area. The county is one of the four counties that occupy Long Island, together with Suffolk County to its immediate east and Queens and Kings counties to the west, which correspond, respectively, to the New York City boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. Two cities, three towns, 64 incorporated villages, and more than 60 unincorporated hamlets are located within the county. There are 56 public school districts within the county.[5] Post office districts and school districts use the same names as a city, hamlet, or village within them, but each sets the boundaries independently.[6]

In 2012, Forbes magazine, in an article based on the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, reported Nassau County was one of the highest income counties in the United States and the most affluent in the state of New York, comprising four of the nation's top ten towns by median income. It also ranks as the most expensive county in America.[7] Nassau County has a designated police department,[8] fire commission,[9] and elected executive and legislative bodies.[10] Nassau County high school students, as do students from nearby Westchester County, often feature prominently as winners of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and similar STEM-based academic endeavors.[11]


The name of the county comes from an old name for Long Island, which was at one time named Nassau, after the Dutch Prince William of Nassau, a member of the House of Nassau, itself named for the German town of Nassau. The county colors (orange and blue) are also the colors of the House of Orange-Nassau.

Several alternate names had been considered for the county, including "Bryant", "Matinecock" (a village within the county currently has that name), "Norfolk" (presumably because of the proximity to Suffolk County), and "Sagamore".[12] However, "Nassau" had the historical advantage of having at one time been the name of Long Island itself,[13] and was the name most mentioned after the new county was proposed in 1875.[14][15][16]


The area now designated Nassau County was originally the eastern 70% of Queens County, one of the original 12 counties formed in 1683, and was then contained within two towns: Hempstead and Oyster Bay. In 1784, the Town of North Hempstead, was formed through secession by the northern portions of the Town of Hempstead. Nassau County was formed in 1899 by the division of Queens County, after the western portion of Queens had become a borough of New York City in 1898, as the three easternmost towns seceded from the county.

When the first European settlers arrived, among the Native Americans to occupy the present area of Nassau County were the Marsapeque, Matinecoc, and Sacatogue. Dutch settlers in New Netherland predominated in the western portion of Long Island, while English settlers from Connecticut occupied the eastern portion. Until 1664, Long Island was split, roughly at the present border between Nassau and Suffolk counties, between the Dutch in the west and Connecticut claiming the east. The Dutch did grant an English settlement in Hempstead (now in western Nassau), but drove settlers from the present-day eastern Nassau hamlet of Oyster Bay as part of a boundary dispute. In 1664, all of Long Island became part of the English Province of New York within the Shire of York. Present-day Queens and Nassau were then just part of a larger North Riding. In 1683, Yorkshire was dissolved, Suffolk County and Queens County were established, and the local seat of government was moved west from Hempstead to Jamaica (now in New York City).[17] By 1700, very little of Long Island had not been purchased from the native Indians by the English colonists, and townships controlled whatever land had not already been distributed.[18]

The courthouse in Jamaica was torn down by the British during the American Revolution to use the materials to build barracks.[19] In 1784, following the American Revolutionary War, the Town of Hempstead was split in two, when Patriots in the northern part formed the new Town of North Hempstead, leaving Loyalist majorities in the Town of Hempstead. About 1787, a new Queens County Courthouse was erected (and later completed) in the new Town of North Hempstead, near present-day Mineola (now in Nassau County), known then as Clowesville.[20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31]

The Long Island Rail Road reached as far east as Hicksville in 1837, but did not proceed to Farmingdale until 1841 due to the Panic of 1837. The 1850 census was the first in which the population of the three western towns (Flushing, Jamaica, and Newtown) exceeded that of the three eastern towns that are now part of Nassau County. Concerns were raised about the condition of the old courthouse and the inconvenience of travel and accommodations, with the three eastern and three western towns divided on the location for the construction of a new one.[32][33][34] Around 1874, the seat of county government was moved to Long Island City from Mineola.[28][35][36][37] As early as 1875, representatives of the three eastern towns began advocating the separation of the three eastern towns from Queens, with some proposals also including the towns of Huntington and Babylon (in Suffolk County).[14][15][16]

In 1898, the western portion of Queens County became a borough of the City of Greater New York, leaving the eastern portion a part of Queens County but not part of the Borough of Queens. As part of the city consolidation plan, all town and county governments within the borough were dissolved. The areas excluded from the consolidation included all of the Town of North Hempstead, all of the Town of Oyster Bay, and most of the Town of Hempstead (excluding the Rockaway Peninsula, which was separated from the Town of Hempstead and became part of the city borough). In 1899, following approval from the New York State Legislature, the three towns were separated from Queens County, and the new county of Nassau was constituted.

In preparation for the new county, in November 1898, voters had selected Mineola to become the county seat for the new county[38] (before Mineola incorporated as a village in 1906 and set its boundaries almost entirely within the Town of North Hempstead), winning out over Hicksville and Hempstead.[39] The Garden City Company (founded in 1893 by the heirs of Alexander Turney Stewart)[40] donated four acres of land for the county buildings in the town of Hempstead, just south of the Mineola train station and the present day village of Mineola.[41][42] The land and the buildings have a Mineola postal address, but are within the present day Village of Garden City,[43] which did not incorporate, nor set its boundaries, until 1919.

In 1917,[44] the village of Glen Cove was granted a city charter, making it independent from the Town of Oyster Bay. In 1918, the village of Long Beach was incorporated in the Town of Hempstead. In 1922, it became a city, making it independent of the town. These are the only two administrative divisions in Nassau County identified as cities.

From the early 1900s until the Depression and the early 1930s, many hilly farmlands on the North Shore were transformed into luxurious country estates for wealthy New Yorkers, with the area receiving the "Gold Coast" moniker and becoming the setting of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel The Great Gatsby. One summer resident of the Gold Coast was President Theodore Roosevelt, at Sagamore Hill. In 1908, William Kissam Vanderbilt constructed the Long Island Motor Parkway as a toll road through Nassau County. With overpasses and bridges to remove intersections, it was among the first limited access motor highways in the world, and was also used as a racecourse to test the capabilities of the fledgling automobile industry.[citation needed]

Nassau County, with its extensive flat land, was the site of many aviation firsts.[45] Military aviators for both World Wars were trained on the Hempstead Plains at installations such as Mitchel Air Force Base, and a number of successful aircraft companies were established. Charles Lindberg took off for Paris from Roosevelt Field in 1927, completing the first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight from the United States. Grumman (which in 1986 employed 23,000 people on Long Island[46]) built many planes for World War II, and later contributed the Apollo Lunar Module to the Space program.[45]

The United Nations Security Council was temporarily located in Nassau County from 1946 to 1951. Council meetings were held at the Sperry Gyroscope headquarters in the village of Lake Success near the border with Queens County. It was here on June 27, 1950, that the Security Council voted to back U.S. President Harry S Truman and send a coalition of forces to the Korean Peninsula, leading to the Korean War.

Until World War II, most of Nassau County was still farmland, particularly in the eastern portion. Following the war, the county saw an influx of people from the five boroughs of New York City, especially from Brooklyn and Queens, who left their urban dwellings for a more suburban setting. This led to a massive population boom in the county. In 1947, William Levitt built his first planned community in Nassau County, in the Island Trees section (later renamed Levittown). (This should not be confused with the county's first planned community, in general, which is Garden City.) While in the 1930s, Robert Moses had engineered curving parkways and parks such as Jones Beach State Park and Bethpage State Park for the enjoyment of city-dwellers, in the 1950s and 1960s the focus turned to alleviating commuter traffic.

In 1994, Federal Judge Arthur Spatt declared the Nassau County Board of Supervisors unconstitutional and directed that a 19-member legislature be formed.[47] Republicans won 13 seats[clarification needed] in the election and chose Bruce Blakeman as the first Presiding Officer (Speaker).[48] Among the first class of Legislators were Peter J. Schmitt (R-Massapequa), Judith Jacobs (D-Woodbury), John Ciotti (R-North Valley Stream), Dennis Dunne Sr. (R-Levittown), Francis X. Becker (R-Lynbrook), Vincent T. Muscarella (R-West Hempstead), Ed Mangano (R-Bethpage), Michael Fiechter (C-North Bellmore), Roger Corbin (D-Westbury), Salvatore Pontillo (R-Farmingdale), Bruce Nyman (D-Long Beach), Edward Ward (R-Wantagh), Darlene Harris (R-Uniondale), Ed Oppenheimer (D-Rockville Centre), John Canning (R-Sea Cliff), Bruce Blakeman (R-Woodmere), Lisanne Altmann (D-Great Neck), Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park), Barbara Johnson (D-Port Washington).

According to a Forbes magazine 2012 survey, residents of Nassau County have the 12th highest median household annual income in the country and the highest in the state.[7] In the 1990s, however, Nassau County experienced substantial budget problems, forcing the county to near bankruptcy. Thus, the county government increased taxes to prevent a takeover by the state of New York, leading to the county having high property taxes. Nevertheless, on January 27, 2011, a New York State oversight board seized control of Nassau County’s finances, saying the wealthy and heavily taxed county had failed to balance its $2.6 billion budgets.[49]


Night aerial view of most of Nassau County, from the west (or west-northwest); Hempstead in the center with roads leading out in many directions; bridges to Jones Beach Island at the upper right. The Grand Central Parkway–Cross Island Parkway interchange, barely visible at the lower left, is just outside the county.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 453 square miles (1,170 km2), of which 285 square miles (740 km2) is land and 169 square miles (440 km2) (37%) is water.[50]

Nassau County occupies a portion of Long Island immediately east of the New York City borough of Queens. It is divided into two cities and three towns, the latter of which contain 64 villages and numerous hamlets. The county borders Connecticut across the Long Island Sound.

Between the 1990 census and the 2000 census, the county exchanged territory with Suffolk County and lost territory to Queens County.[51] Dozens of CDPs had boundaries changed, and 12 new CDPs were listed.[51]


The Village of Freeport on Baldwin Bay.


Nassau County has a climate similar to other coastal areas of the Northeastern United States; it has warm, humid summers and cool, wet winters. The county is classified as humid subtropical by some definitions. The Atlantic Ocean helps bring afternoon sea breezes that temper the heat in the warmer months and limit the frequency and severity of thunderstorms. Nassau County has a moderately sunny climate, averaging between 2,400 and 2,800 hours of sunshine annually.[52]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Nassau County borders the following counties:[53]


In July 2017, the approval was granted by state legislators to the plan proposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to add a third railroad track to the Long Island Rail Road corridor between the communities of Floral Park and Hicksville in Nassau County. The nearly US$2 billion transportation infrastructure enhancement project was expected to accommodate anticipated growth in rail ridership and facilitate commutes between New York City and Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.[54]

The Long Island Expressway, Northern State Parkway, and Southern State Parkway are the primary east-west controlled-access highways in Nassau County. Northern Boulevard (New York State Route 25A), Hillside Avenue (New York State Route 25B), Jericho Turnpike (New York State Route 25), New York State Route 24, and Sunrise Highway (New York State Route 27) are also major east-west commercial thoroughfares across the county. The Meadowbrook State Parkway, Wantagh State Parkway, and Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway (New York State Route 135) are the major north-south controlled-access highways traversing Nassau County.

National protected areas[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 55,448
1910 83,930 51.4%
1920 126,120 50.3%
1930 303,053 140.3%
1940 406,748 34.2%
1950 672,765 65.4%
1960 1,300,171 93.3%
1970 1,428,080 9.8%
1980 1,321,582 −7.5%
1990 1,287,348 −2.6%
2000 1,334,544 3.7%
2010 1,339,532 0.4%
Est. 2016 1,361,500 [55] 1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[56]
1790–1960[57] 1900–1990[58]
1990–2000[59] 2010, 2015[1]

In 2011, there were about 230,000 Jewish people in Nassau County,[60] representing 17.2% of the population, (as compared to 2% of the total U.S. population). Italian Americans also make up a large portion of Nassau's population. The five most reported ancestries were Italian (23%), Irish (14%), German (7%), American Indian (5%), and Polish (4%). The county's population was highest at the 1970 Census.

The New York Times cited a 2002 study by the non-profit group ERASE Racism, which determined that Nassau, and its neighboring county, Suffolk, are the most de facto racially segregated suburbs in the United States.[61]

More recently, a Little India (लघु भारत) community has emerged in Hicksville, Nassau County,[62] spreading eastward from the more established Little India enclaves in Queens. Rapidly growing Chinatowns have developed in Brooklyn (布魯克林) and Queens (皇后), with Asian immigrants moving into Nassau County,[63][64][65] as did earlier European immigrants, such as the Irish and Italians. As of 2015, the Asian population in Nassau County had grown rapidly to an estimated 115,232 individuals, including an estimated 46,225 Indian Americans and 29,017 Chinese Americans.[66] Likewise, the Long Island Koreatown (롱 아일랜드 코리아타운) originated in Flushing, Queens, and is expanding eastward along Northern Boulevard[67][68][69][70][71] and into Nassau County.[65][68][69]

Census 2010[edit]

As of the 2010 Census, there were 1,400,000 people, 448,528 households, and 340,523 families residing in the county. The population of Nassau County was estimated by the U.S. Census to have increased by 1.6% to 1,400,000in 2015, representing 6.9% of the Census-estimated New York State population of 19,795,791[72] and 17.4% of the Census-estimated Long Island population of 7,838,722.[73][74][75][76] The population density in 2010 was 4,700 people per square mile (1,815/km²). There were 468,346 housing units at an average density of 1,598 per square mile (617/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 73.0% White (65.5% non-Hispanic White), 11.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 7.6% Asian (3.0% Indian, 1.8% Chinese, 1.0% Korean, 0.7% Filipino, 0.1% Japanese, 0.1% Vietnamese, 0.9% Other Asian), 0.03% Pacific Islander, 5.6% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.6% of the population.[77]

In 2010, there were 340,523 family households, out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.0% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 20.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.38. The population was 23.3% under the age of 18, and 18.7% who were 62 years of age or older. The median age was 41.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.[77]

The median income for a household in the county in 2000 was $72,030, and the median income for a family was $81,246 (these figures had risen to $87,658 and $101,661 respectively according to a 2007 estimate[78]). Males had a median income of $52,340 versus $37,446 for females. The per capita income for the county was $32,151. About 3.50% of families and 5.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.80% of those under age 18 and 5.60% of those age 65 or over.

Racial groups and ethnicity on Long Island compared to state and nation[77][79]
Place Population
of any
Race Ethnicity
Nassau County 1,339,532 71.0 11.1 7.6 5.9 2.4 14.6
Suffolk County 1,493,350 81.0 7.3 3.4 5.9 2.4 16.5
Long Island Total
(including Brooklyn and Queens)
7,568,304 54.7 20.4 12.3 9.3 3.2 20.5
NY State 19,378,102 65.7 15.9 7.3 8.0 3.0 17.6
USA 308,745,538 72.4 12.6 4.8 7.3 2.9 16.3
American Indian, Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander make up just 0.5% of the population of Long Island, and have been included with "Other".
Religious groups on Long Island compared to state and nation[80][81]
Place Population
 % not
of % not
Nassau County 1,339,532 52 9 16 7 15
Suffolk County 1,493,350 52 21 7 8 11
Long Island Total
(including Brooklyn and Queens)
7,568,304 40 18 12 7 20
NY State 19,378,102 42 20 9 10 16
USA 308,745,538 22 37 2 23 12

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 1,334,544 people, 447,387 households, and 347,172 families residing in the county. The population density was 4,655 people per square mile (1,797/km²). There were 458,151 housing units at an average density of 1,598 per square mile (617/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.30% White (73.95% White Non-Hispanic), 10.01% African American, 0.16% Native American, 4.73% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.57% from other races, and 2.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.09% of the population.[82]

There were 447,387 households, out of which 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.10% were married couples living together, 10.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.40% were non-families. 18.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.34.[82]

In the county the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.00 males.[82]

The median income for a household in the county was $72,030, and the median income for a family was $81,246. Males had a median income of $52,340 versus $37,446 for females. The per capita income for the county was $32,151. About 3.50% of families and 5.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.80% of those under age 18 and 5.60% of those age 65 or over.[83]

Law and government[edit]

County courthouse

The head of the county's governmental structure is the County Executive, a post created in Nassau County in 1938. The current county executive is Laura Curran, a Democrat who was elected 2017. The Chief Deputy County Executive is Democrat Helena Williams. The District Attorney is Democrat Madeline Singas, who was elected to replace Kathleen Rice who was elected to the House of Representatives. The county comptroller is George Maragos, a Republican turned Democrat, the county clerk is Republican Maureen O'Connell. Former elected offices Chairman of the County Board of Assessors, County Treasurer, and County Sheriff were made appointed and serve at the pleasure of the County Executive (County Assessor in 2008 via referendum changing it from a 6-year term to appointed).[84]

County executive[edit]

The current Nassau County Executive is Laura Curran, a Democrat and the first woman to hold the position.

Nassau County Executives
Name Party Term
J. Russell Sprague Republican 1938–1953
A. Holly Patterson Republican 1953–1962
Eugene Nickerson Democratic 1962–1970
Ralph G. Caso Republican 1970–1978
Francis T. Purcell Republican 1978–1987
Thomas Gulotta Republican 1987–2001
Thomas Suozzi Democratic 2002–2009
Ed Mangano Republican 2010–2017
Laura Curran Democratic 2018–present

Chief Deputy County Executive[edit]

The Chief Deputy County Executive[85] is the highest appointed official in the Nassau County government, serving 2nd in command under the auspice of the County Executive. The Chief Deputy is responsible for managing the activities of all departments of the Nassau County government, which provides services to its 1.36 million residents. The Chief Deputy also officially serves as the acting County Executive in the absence of, or disability of the County Executive; and becomes Acting County Executive in the event of the County Executive's death, resignation or removal from office, until the vacancy is filled by the County Legislature. The current Chief Deputy County Executive is Helena Williams who was appointed by Executive Laura Curran in 2018.

Chief Deputy County Executives
Name Party Term Served Under
Robert McDonald Republican 1993 - 1999 Thomas Gulotta
Judy Schwartz Republican 1999 - 2001 Thomas Gulotta
Anthony Cancillieri Democrat 2002 - 2005 Thomas Suozzi
Christopher Hahn Democrat 2006 - 2009 Thomas Suozzi
Robert Walker Republican 2010 - 2017 Edward Mangano
Helena Williams Democrat 2018 - present Laura Curran


The comptroller of Nassau County is the chief fiscal officer and chief auditing officer of the County who presides over the Nassau County Comptroller's Office. The comptroller is elected, countywide, to a four-year term and has no term limit. The current comptroller is Republican George Maragos. Maragos was elected on November 3, 2009. Comptroller Maragos serves as the fiscal watchdog for Nassau County; the wealthiest county per income in New York State which has an annual budget of $2.6 billion. Comptroller Maragos and his staff monitor Nassau’s budget and financial operations, audit government agencies and agencies with county contracts to uncover waste and abuse, review county contracts and claims, report on matters that significantly affect Nassau’s financial health and operations, work with the administration and legislature to help the county overcome its fiscal challenges, prepare Nassau County's comprehensive annual financial report, and administer the county payroll and employee health benefits functions.[86] The Comptroller's Office includes the Departments of Accounting, Field Audit, Payroll and Benefits, and Claims.

Nassau County Comptrollers (Nassau County Comptroller's Office)
Order Name Term Party
1 John Lyon January 1, 1911 – December 31, 1913 Republican
2 Chas L. Phipps January 1, 1914 – January 3, 1916 Republican
3 Earl J. Bennett January 14, 1916 – December 31, 1922 Republican
4 Philip Wiederson January 1, 1923 – December 31, 1934 Republican
5 Theodore Bedell January 1, 1935 – December 31, 1964 Republican
6 Peter P. Rocchio Sr. January 1, 1965 – December 31, 1967 Democratic
7 Angelo D. Roncallo January 1, 1968 – January 3, 1973 Republican
8 M. Hallstead Christ January 4, 1973 – August 16, 1981 Republican
9 Peter T. King August 17, 1981 – December 31, 1992 Republican
10 Alan Gurein January 1, 1993 – December 31, 1993 Republican
11 Frederick E. Parola January 1, 1994 – December 31, 2001 Republican
12 Howard S. Weitzman January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2009 Democratic
13 George Maragos January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2017 Republican (until 2016)
Democratic (since 2016)
14 Jack E. Schnirman January 1, 2018 – present Democratic

County legislature[edit]

The county legislature has 19 members. There are eleven Republicans and eight Democrats.

Nassau County Legislature
District Legislator Party Residence
1 Kevan Abrahams, Minority Leader Democratic Roosevelt
2 Siela Bynoe Democratic Westbury
3 Carrié Solages Democratic Elmont
4 Denise Ford Republican Long Beach
5 Debra Mule Democratic Freeport
6 C. William Gaylor Republican Lynbrook
7 Howard Kopel, Alt. Deputy Presiding Officer Republican Lawrence
8 Vincent Muscarella Republican West Hempstead
9 Richard Nicolello, Deputy Presiding Officer Republican New Hyde Park
10 Ellen W. Birnbaum Democratic Great Neck
11 Delia DeRiggi-Whitton Democratic Glen Cove
12 James Kennedy Republican Massapequa
13 Thomas McKevitt Republican East Meadow
14 Laura M. Schaefer Republican Westbury
15 John R. Ferretti Republican Levittown
16 Arnold W. Drucker Democrat Plainview
17 Rose Marie Walker Republican Hicksville
18 Josh Lafazan Democratic Syosset
19 Steven D. Rhoads Republican Bellmore

Law enforcement[edit]

County police services are provided by the Nassau County Police Department. The cities of Glen Cove and Long Beach, as well as a number of villages, are not members of the county police district and maintain their own police forces. The following village police departments exist in Nassau County: Centre Island, Floral Park, Freeport, Garden City, Great Neck Estates, Hempstead, Kensington, Kings Point, Lake Success, Lynbrook, Malverne, Muttontown, Old Brookville (Old Brookville P.D. provides police protection for Old Brookville, Brookville, Upper Brookville, Matinecock, Mill Neck and Cove Neck), Old Westbury, Oyster Bay Cove, Rockville Centre and Sands Point. The Port Washington Police Department is not a village department but is authorized by a special district, the only such district in New York State.[citation needed] These smaller forces, however, make use of such specialized county police services as the police academy and the aviation unit. Also, all homicides in the county are investigated by the county police, regardless of whether or not they occur within the police district.

On June 1, 2011, the Muttontown Police Department commenced operations. The Old Brookville Police had formerly provided police services to the Village of Muttontown.

In 2006, village leaders in the county seat of Mineola expressed dissatisfaction with the level of police coverage provided by the county force and actively explored seceding from the police district and having the village form its own police force. A referendum on December 5, 2006, however, decisively defeated the proposal.[87]

Since the Long Island State Parkway Police was disbanded in 1980, all of Nassau County's state parkways have been patrolled by Troop L of the New York State Police. State parks in Nassau are patrolled by the New York State Park Police. In 1996, the Long Island Rail Road Police Department was consolidated into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police. The MTA Police patrol Long Island Rail Road tracks, stations and properties. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police provides enforcement of state environmental laws and regulations. The State University of New York Police provides enforcement for SUNY Old Westbury.

The Nassau County Police Department posts the mug shots of DWI offenders as press releases on their website. This practice has come under the scrutiny of residents, media, and those pictured in these press releases. This practice has been criticized as being able to cost potential employees, students, or public figures their positions.[88]

County correctional services and enforcement of court orders are provided by the Nassau County Sheriff's Department. New York State Court Officers provide security for courthouses.

A Nassau County Auxiliary Police car.

The Nassau County Auxiliary Police are a unit of the Nassau County Police Department. These volunteer police officers are assigned to 1 of 38 local community units and perform routine patrols of the neighborhood and provide traffic control for local parades, races and other community events. Auxiliary Police officers are empowered to make arrests for crimes that occur in their presence. Nassau County Auxiliary Police are required to complete a 42-week training course at the Nassau County Police Academy and qualified officers are also offered Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training. Auxiliary Police officers are certified and registered by the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services as full-time "peace officers". The City of Long Beach has an independent Auxiliary Police force which is part of its municipal police force. These officers are represented by the Auxiliary Police Benevolent Association of Long Island.

Police brutality and other misconduct[edit]

Nassau County Police (along with the police of neighboring Suffolk County) have a history of misconduct.[89] Nassau is the home of Martin Tankleff, jailed for seventeen years for murder before he was cleared and awarded over $3 million in compensation.[90] A local news outlet, Newsday, published a report on 18 December 2013 giving the official records of complaints of misconduct between 2008 and 2013. The report is based on official police personnel files.[89] Many of the officers complained against remained in service until their voluntary retirement even after damages were awarded against them or they were found culpable in internal investigations.[89] By his own admission, one officer, had at least seven complaints against him including breaking a person's jaw. He remained on the force and his violence escalated until he rammed a suspect with his car causing him to lose his leg. Another officer admitted giving false evidence in court and was convicted. He had two other complaints against him.[89]

By the time the Newsday report came out, the Public Safety Committee had not put police misconduct on the agenda for years. David. W. Denenberg, (Merrick, D) stated in the December 2013 survey, "The Republican majority has not called a single public safety or full legislative hearing on numerous issues facing Nassau's public safety and Police Department since January 1, 2010. However, as a member of the public safety committee since January 1, 2010, I called for hearings regarding various Police Department issues.... The oversight necessary is the legislature fulfilling its role as a check and balance to the administration."

As a result, impunity for misconduct in Nassau County policing is endemic. Instances range from false arrests, through filing falsified reports, planting evidence to excessive force. A list can be scrolled through in this article. Some officers have multiple compensation awards made against them at the taxpayers' expense and yet remain on the payroll. The most costly for Nassau in that survey was the K.S. case (above) in which the officer cost the tax-payer $15.1 million after being sued three times.[91]

When presented with the question, "Is there a need for increased oversight of law enforcement?", 18 State Assembly and Long Island legislators voted yes, 3 voted no and 61 did not respond. The response of each legislator was published together with the research.

The new Nassau County District Attorney, Madeline Singas, included addressing the issue of corrupted police officers in her manifesto. She was criticized for this by at least one police union - the Nassau County Superior Officers Association - and they together with 26 other law enforcement unions and associations endorsed her rival in the 2016 elections.[92]

Brutality by Nassau County Police has featured in the foreign media[93][94] in relation to the USA's promotion of law and order in foreign countries at the tax-payers' expense while failing for years to stem police misconduct in some areas of America.

The phenomenon may be related to general corruption in public office on Long Island. Criminal cases against 10 politicians and public officials are ongoing. In a current review of corruption in public office, Newsday says "Over the past few years, prosecutors have charged Long Island politicians and public officials with crimes ranging from tax evasion to bribery." Follow Newsday’s latest coverage on the most prominent cases here.

The Nassau County Executive will go on trial in January 2018 on federal charges related to corruption in the award of public contracts, bribe-taking and extortion while the Suffolk County District Attorney and five others went on trial in October 2017 for corruption.

Fire departments[edit]

Nassau County is currently protected and served by 71 independent volunteer or combination paid/volunteer fire departments, organized into 9 battalions.

  • 1st Battalion
Department Number Department Name
100 Bellerose Village
110 Bellerose Terrace
120 Floral Park
130 Floral Park Centre
140 Garden City
150 Garden City Park
160 Mineola
170 New Hyde Park
180 South Floral Park
190 Stewart Manor
  • 2nd Battalion
Department Number Department Name
200 Baldwin
210 Freeport
220 Village of Island Park
230 Long Beach
240 Oceanside
250 Point Lookout-Lido
  • 3rd Battalion
Department Number Department Name
300 Hewlett
310 Inwood
320 Lawrence Cedarhurst
330 Meadowmere Park
340 Valley Stream
350 Woodmere
  • 4th Battalion
Department Number Department Name
400 East Rockaway
410 Lakeview
420 Lynbrook
430 Malverne
440 Rockville Centre
  • 5th Battalion
Department Number Department Name
500 Bayville
510 East Norwich
520 Glen Cove
530 Glenwood
540 Locust Valley
550 Oyster Bay
560 Roslyn Rescue
570 Sea Cliff
580 Syosset
590 Roslyn Highlands
  • 6th Battalion
Department Number Department Name
600 Bellmore
610 East Meadow
620 Levittown
630 Massapequa
640 Merrick
650 North Bellmore
660 North Massapequa
670 North Merrick
680 Seaford
690 Wantagh
  • 7th Battalion
Department Number Department Name
700 Elmont
710 Franklin Square and Munson
720 Hempstead
730 Roosevelt
740 South Hempstead
750 Uniondale
760 West Hempstead
  • 8th Battalion
Department Number Department Name
800 Albertson
810 East Williston
820 Great Neck Alert
830 Great Neck Vigilant
840 Plandome
850 Port Washington
860 Williston Park
870 Manhasset-Lakeville
  • 9th Battalion
Department Number Department Name
900 Bethpage
910 Carle Place
920 Farmingdale
930 Hicksville
940 Jericho
950 Plainview
960 Westbury
970 South Farmingdale


Nassau County vote
in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2016 45.1% 292,025 51.3% 332,154 3.5% 22,943
2012 45.6% 259,308 53.3% 302,695 1.1% 6,148
2008 45.4% 288,776 53.8% 342,185 0.7% 4,657
2004 46.6% 288,355 52.3% 323,070 1.1% 6,918
2000 38.5% 227,060 58.0% 342,226 3.6% 21,153
1996 36.1% 196,820 55.7% 303,587 8.1% 44,257
1992 40.5% 246,881 46.4% 282,593 13.1% 79,852
1988 57.0% 337,430 42.2% 250,130 0.8% 4,858
1984 61.8% 392,017 38.0% 240,697 0.2% 1,349
1980 56.0% 333,567 34.8% 207,602 9.2% 54,851
1976 51.8% 329,176 47.6% 302,869 0.6% 3,711
1972 63.3% 438,723 36.5% 252,831 0.2% 1,473
1968 51.3% 329,792 43.3% 278,599 5.4% 34,804
1964 39.4% 248,886 60.5% 382,590 0.1% 639
1960 55.1% 324,255 44.8% 263,303 0.1% 761
1956 69.1% 372,358 30.9% 166,646 0.0% 0
1952 69.9% 305,900 29.8% 130,267 0.4% 1,669
1948 69.5% 184,284 26.6% 70,492 3.9% 10,462
1944 66.9% 159,713 32.9% 78,512 0.2% 576
1940 66.1% 143,672 33.7% 73,171 0.2% 450
1936 55.0% 94,968 43.0% 74,232 2.1% 3,579
1932 54.5% 78,544 42.9% 61,752 2.6% 3,804
1928 62.8% 71,015 35.4% 40,079 1.8% 2,046
1924 70.5% 45,825 22.0% 14,322 7.5% 4,884
1920 76.4% 33,099 19.8% 8,595 3.8% 1,637
1916 61.7% 13,910 37.4% 8,430 1.0% 215
1912 24.9% 4,608 38.1% 7,073 37.0% 6,865
1908 63.0% 9,787 31.5% 4,883 5.5% 855
1904 60.0% 8,222 38.6% 5,282 1.4% 195
1900 61.0% 6,994 37.7% 4,325 1.2% 141

Before, during and for the first four decades after World War II, like neighboring Suffolk County, Nassau County residents primarily supported the Republican Party in national elections. However, in the 1990s, the tide of voter support began to shift toward the Democratic Party. Democrat Bill Clinton carried the county in the presidential elections of 1992 and 1996. Later Nassau voters gave a large plurality of the vote to Al Gore in 2000 (19.4%), while John Kerry's Nassau margin in 2004 was considerably slimmer (5.6%). In that election, Kerry won the towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead, but lost the Town of Oyster Bay. The County went solidly for Barrack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and by a similar margin for Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016.

Democratic strength is chiefly concentrated on the South Shore. This includes the southeastern Village of Freeport which is roughly sixty-eight percent Democratic, central areas near the Village of Hempstead and Uniondale, where there are large middle-class populations as well. There are also staunch Democratic pockets in the equally affluent Five Towns area in the southwest part of the county and in Long Beach.

Republican voters are chiefly concentrated on the North Shore, and the middle class southeastern portion of the county, which developed during the "post-war boom-era" is heavily Republican, and communities such as Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Levittown, Bethpage, and Farmingdale are the political base of County Executive Edward P. Mangano. In the western portion of the county, wealthy Garden City is solidly Republican, as is the more middle-class community of Floral Park.

Areas of the county containing large numbers of swing voters are in East Meadow, Oceanside, and Rockville Centre on the South Shore and [[Mineola, New York|Mineola]] on the North Shore.

The dean of the Long Island Congressional Delegation, Representative Peter T. King, is from Nassau County. His 2nd District includes heavily populated suburban neighborhoods like Massapequa, Levittown, Seaford, Wantagh, and Farmingdale. But Nassau County is also home to the popular former district attorney, Democrat Kathleen M. Rice, whose 4th District includes Garden City, Carle Place, Hempstead, Uniondale, East Meadow, Valley Stream, Franklin Square, West Hempstead and portions of the Village of Freeport and Rockville Centre.

Nassau County's other two congressmen are both Democrats. Representative Gregory Meeks represents the 5th District, which includes the southwestern part of the county, including Valley Stream. Thomas Suozzi's 3rd District includes Great Neck, Port Washington, Jericho, Syosset, Hicksville, Bethpage, and Glen Cove in Nassau County.

Seven out of Long Island's nine state senators are Republican at the start of the 2017–2019 legislative term in January 2017, with the exception being State Senator John Brooks and Senator Todd Kaminsky.

Colleges and universities[edit]

Nassau County is home to numerous colleges and universities, including Adelphi University, Molloy College, Briarcliffe College, New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Old Westbury, Nassau Community College, Hofstra University, C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University, United States Merchant Marine Academy, and Webb Institute.

Nassau has two medical schools, the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, and one law school, the Hofstra School of Law, affiliated with both Hofstra University in Hempstead and New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury.


Nassau County was home to the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League, who played at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale from their inception in 1972. However, the Islanders announced in 2012 that starting in the fall of 2015, the team would be moving to Brooklyn and would play at the Barclays Center, its present home.

The Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association, then known as the New York Nets, formerly played their home games in Nassau County at the now-demolished Island Garden arena in West Hempstead from 1969 to 1972 and then at the Coliseum from 1972 to 1977, before the franchise moved to New Jersey—its original home for several years before coming to Long Island in the late 1960s - and eventually, to Brooklyn.

The New York Cosmos (1970-85) of the former North American Soccer League (1968–84) played for two seasons,1972 and 1973, at the James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University in Hempstead, then known as Hofstra Stadium. The team's name was revived in 2010, and the present-day New York Cosmos (2010) of the new North American Soccer League play at Shuart Stadium. Nassau County is also the home of the Long Island Lizards of Major League Lacrosse, who play at Shuart Stadium. The County also operates several sports events for student-athletes, such as the Nassau County Executive Cup College Showcase.

Belmont Park in Elmont is a major horse-racing venue which annually hosts the Belmont Stakes, the third and final leg of the prestigious Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing. The now-demolished Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury hosted auto racing and, from 1940 through 1988, was a popular harness racing track.




County symbols[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ Nassau County Atlas, 6th Large Scale Edition, Hagstrom Map Company, Inc., 1999
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
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  5. ^ "Public School Districts in Nassau County, NY". Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  6. ^ The number of districts and communities do not coincide, and the boundaries are set independently. Thus, the boundaries cannot be the same, and residences often have postal addresses that differ from the name of the hamlet and/or school district in which they are located.
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  12. ^ "About Nassau County". Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Last will and testament of Thomas Powell Sen late of Bethpage now of Westbury in the limits of Hempstead in Queens County on Nassau Island in the Colony of New York". 1719. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
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  15. ^ a b "Long Island". New York Times. April 9, 1876. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Proposed Division of Queens County". New York Times. December 21, 1876. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Early Five Borough's History". Retrieved December 30, 2007. When Queens County was created the courts were transferred from Hempstead to Jamaica Village and a County Court was erected. When the building became too small for its purposes and the stone meeting house had been erected, the courts were held for some years in that edifice. Later a new courthouse was erected and used until the seat of justice was removed to North Hempstead. 
  18. ^ "Old Bethpage Village Restoration". Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  19. ^ "History of Queens County". 
  20. ^ "Historical Essay: A Thumbnail View". Official History Page of the Queens Borough President's Office. Archived from the original on December 18, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2007. From the final withdrawal of the British in November, 1783, until the 1830s, Queens continued as an essentially Long Island area of farms and villages. The location of the county government in Mineola (in present-day Nassau County) underscores the island orientation of that era. Population grew hardly at all, increasing only from 5,791 in 1800 to 7,806 in 1830, suggesting that many younger sons moved away, seeking fortunes where land was not yet so fully taken up for farming.  Jon A. Peterson and Vincent Seyfried, ed. (1983). A Research Guide to the History of the Borough of Queens and Its Neighborhood.  Peterson, Jon A., ed. (1987). A Research Guide to the History of the Borough of Queens, New York City. New York: Queens College, City University of New York. 
  21. ^ "New York – Queens County – History". Retrieved December 29, 2007.  "History of New York State 1523–1927". The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York.  Sullivan, James (1927). History of New York State 1523–1927. New York, Chicago: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc. 
  22. ^ "New York State History". Genealogy Inc. 1999. Archived from the original on January 8, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2007. Under the Reorganization Act of March 7, 1788, New York was divided into 120 towns (not townships), many of which were already in existence. 
  23. ^ "State of New York; Local Government Handbook; 5th Edition" (PDF). January 2000. pp. Ch 4, p 13; Ch 5 p 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 15, 2010. The 1777 New York State Constitution, Article XXXVI, confirmed land grants and municipal charters granted by the English Crown prior to October 14, 1775. Chapter 64 of the Laws of 1788 organized the state into towns and cities...The basic composition of the counties was set in 1788 when the State Legislature divided all of the counties then existing into towns. Towns, of course, were of earlier origin, but in that year they acquired a new legal status as components of the counties. 
  24. ^ "History Mysteries: Shelter Island Ferry/Mineola Building". Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2008. The building shown below "is one of the most important buildings in the history of Mineola," wrote Jack Hehman, president of the Mineola Historical Society. Built in 1787 and known as the "old brig," it was the first Queens County courthouse and later a home for the mentally ill. The building was at Jericho Turnpike and Herricks Road until 1910, when it burned to the ground. 
  25. ^ "The Mineola Asylum; Witnesses who testified that it is and has been a model institution". New York Times. August 29, 1882. Retrieved April 1, 2008. The investigation of the charges made against the Superintendent and keepers of the Mineola Asylum for the Insane, which was begun last Tuesday, was continued yesterday by the standing Committee on Insane Asylums of the Queens County Board of Supervisors-- Messrs. Whitney, Brinckerhoff, and Powell. The committee were shown through the asylum, which is the old building of the Queens County Court-house over 100 years old 
  26. ^ David Roberts. "Nassau County Post Offices 1794–1879". Retrieved April 1, 2008.  John L. Kay & Chester M. Smith, Jr. (1982). New York Postal History: The Post Offices & First Postmasters from 1775 to 1980. American Philatelic Society. There was only one post office established in present Nassau County when the Long Island post road to Sag Harbor was established September 25, 1794. It appears that the mail from New York went to Jamaica. This was the only post office in the present day Boroughs of Queens or Brooklyn before 1803. From Jamaica the mail went east along the Jericho Turnpike/Middle Country Road route and ended at Sag Harbor. The only post office on this route between Jamaica and Suffolk County was QUEENS established the same date as the others on this route 9/25/1794. This post office was officially Queens, but I have seen the area called "Queens Court House" and was located approximately in the Mineola-Westbury area. The courthouse was used until the 1870s when the county court was moved to Long Island City. Later it served as the Queens County Insane Asylum and still later as an early courthouse for the new Nassau County, during construction of the present "old" Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola. It was demolished shortly after 1900 ... after about 120 years of service of one type or the other. 
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  30. ^ The former county courthouse was located northeast of the intersection of Jericho Turnpike (NY Route 25) and the aptly named County Courthouse Road in an unincorporated area of the Town of North Hempstead, variously referred to in the present day as Garden City Park or New Hyde Park. The site is now a shopping center anchored by a supermarket and is located in the New Hyde Park 11040 Zip Code. A stone marker located on the north side of Jericho Turnpike (NY Route 25), between Marcus Avenue and Herricks Road, identifies the site.
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  35. ^ "A Queens Timeline". The Queens Tribune. Archived from the original on November 9, 2007. Retrieved December 23, 2007. 1874 – Queens County Courthouse and seat of county government moved from Mineola (in present-day Nassau County) to Long Island City. 
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  86. ^ Source: Nassau County Comptroller's Office
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  91. ^
  92. ^
  93. ^
  94. ^
  95. ^
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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°44′N 73°38′W / 40.733°N 73.633°W / 40.733; -73.633