NEW YORK (WCBS 880/CBS 2) – If there’s a crime in Ossining, who’re you gonna call? Well, not the Ossining Police.
The Ossining Town police badges and cruisers have now been replaced with Westchester County ones, reported WCBS 880′s Catherine Cioffi. Westchester County absorbed the entire 20-member, 101-year-old Ossining Police Department at the town’s request.
County Executive Rob Astorino said this is costing county taxpayers nothing, but it’s saving the Town of Ossining about $600,000.
WCBS 880′s Catherine Cioffi with details on the merging.
“Economically, it made sense, and everyone decided to take the leap forward,” said Astorino.
Only four years after building a new police headquarters, the Ossining supervisor cut the deal that keeps the cops – but eliminates the duel dispatch and administrative functions with county police.
That’s why, he said, consolidation is something that’s being pushed all over Westchester County.
“Hopefully the model for many other communities, not just in Westchester but perhaps throughout the state, which is completely a patchwork of governments,” said Astorino.
Even the former Ossining chief, now a county captain, thinks the writing is on the wall.
“I think if you put your residents and your police officers above your own title, I think that’s far more important than having your own little fiefdom,” Westchester County Police Capt. Mark Bushe told CBS 2′s Lou Young.
Any other town that wants to merge police departments with the county just needs to give him a call, said Astorino.
“It’s these kind of things we can do that would provide the taxpayers with a service that is at least the same, and in this case better, than they had. And it’s tax nuetral for the county and a tax reduction, or a better or more efficient for the taxpayers in Ossining,” said Astorino.