Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Intermunicipal Sharing of Police Services Considered

I'm for this. There's no reason why there needs to be so many small, fragmented departments in one town. It used to be that the Police Officers in these Villages were from the Communties, and knew the residents and village inside and out. Today, not so much. There's no reason, in my opinion, why there needs to be a highly paid command structure for each department, each department needs their own fleet, etc. It's duplication of resources. Money can be saved, and applied to putting more officers and supervisors on the street. The current Police stations can act as precincts. This would also benefit officers, as it would allow them more advancment oppurtunity and being able to change once in a while from patrolling the same small village to a different beat. It would also centralize communications and allow for better allotment of resources.

The same should also be studied to address the multiple, fragmented fire districts in the town for the same reasons.

Duplication of resources costs taxpayers money.

As the Town Board liaison to the Greenburgh Police Department’s Community
Advisory Board, I met several weeks ago with Dobbs Ferry village and police
officials to discuss the possibility of conducting a study on the benefits of
sharing services between police departments. The study would not cost
Greenburgh taxpayers, as New York State has grant money available for this
study. We think it is beneficial to conduct this study while grant money is
available to pay for it. A study previously done that looked at
consolidating the police departments in Dobbs Ferry and in Irvington suggested
the villages could each save over $1 million per year. We are hopeful this same
taxpayer savings could be realized with the sharing of services with the
Greenburgh Police Department. The crime rate in Greenburgh is at its lowest
point in recorded history. If sharing services could provide a cost savings to
the entire town, as well as increase public safety, we need to explore this
possibility. I will continue to update you as we move forward. Please feel
free to call (993-1544) or email with any questions or comments.

Eddie Mae Barnes, Councilwoman Town of Greenburgh