Budget Problems Could Close Two Westchester Police Departments

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Big budgets and rising taxes could soon send two Westchester police departments into extinction.

Many of the suburbs north of the city are defined by their ability to field a local police force, and residents of Mount Kisco and Pleasantville told CBS2’s Lou Young that it is more than just a simple luxury.

“I would prefer to have those who work with us to be local,” said Carol Steiner of Mt. Kisco.

Patricia Hammel of Pleasantville echoed those sentiments.

“Let’s have a little individuality and have our own.  I think that’s better,” she said.

But both Pleasantville and Mount Kisco have decided to take a second look at the expense. Both communities are considering a merger with the larger Westchester County Police Department.

The chief of Mount Kisco’s thirty-five member department says that it shouldn’t be about turf or ego.

“I don’t think a person that’s affected by this decision should have anything to say. I think it should be made at the government’s level for the best interests of the community,” he said.

The town of Ossining did it last year, the former Chief, Mark Busche, is now a Captain with the county police, he says that the merger made sense.

“It’s a contract which guarantees a certain level of police service,” said Busche.

It’s called economy of scale, at the county police department one sergeant supervises ten police officers. It drives down costs and hopefully taxes.

The economic benefits seemed to brighten the picture for at least one resident.

“Well a tax reduction is a great thing, now I’m definitely interested,” said Debbie Freshman of Mount Kisco.

Both towns say that the budget numbers will weigh heavily on their ultimate decision. There are currently forty-two separate municipal police departments in Westchester County.

Do you prefer local law enforcement or a county force at a reduced price? Let us know in the comments section below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. Robert McArthur says:

    I live in Cortlandt Manor and we went to County & State police patrol but these Agencies with there own cutbacks can only respond to so much. When Cortlandt joined on the County and Troopers had a sub stations within the town . I think your trying to get local policing from a force that is going to be spread thinly doing “total” county policing.
    What is the counties overtime cost now due to it’s inability to satisfy minimum manning for patrol now and your are considering taking on more patrol responsibility.
    I think this needs a much tighter look before you abandon local policing these people are use to.

  2. Kim Terlizzi says:

    I did not realize that Steve Anderson, the Police Chief of Mt. Kisco, had been replaced by Karl Marx. His comment stating “I don’t think a person that’s affected by this decision should have anything to say. I think it should be made at the government’s level for the best interests of the community.” This is the view that the government know what’s best for the people. The people effected are the taxpayers and residents who should have everything to say regarding this decision.

  3. Chester West says:

    Those towns should simply bill their budget shortfalls to New York City. NYC doesn’t have a deficit, so it’s 100% responsible for the suburbs’ deficits.

  4. PAT KARCH says:

    iT WOULD BE NICE IF “LOCAL” NEWS WAS FROM THE CHICAGO AREA AND NOT NEW YORK. THIS IS NOT THE WESTCHESTER THAT IS A SUBURB OF CHICAGO.

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