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2 trustee candidates say they don’t oppose police, but favor looking into county-wide agency

Posted 19 March 2018 at 12:56 pm

Editor:

This is a response to Peter Sidari’s recent letter to the editor. We disagree with how he has framed the policing issue that has become a part of this village election.

We have not advocated some kind of wholesale reduction in law enforcement inside the village. And the recent study that was performed did not present that as an option either. The question on the table is whether our community should look into shifting headcount out of local police departments and into the Sheriff’s Department. Would a single department be more efficient, spread costs more fairly, and be better enabled to deploy resources wherever there is a need? Given the decline that we are seeing in the village, should we not even explore the option?

An example was made of responding to a school emergency – implying that perhaps 3-4 officers could respond today, but perhaps only 0-1 officers could respond if we make a change. Why not ask the question do you want a local department of 10-12 officers leading a response or an improved, centralized department of 50-60 officers doing so? And who should be paying to protect schools, stores, churches, and parks – locations that have many people from outside the village? Is it right to focus the burden on village residents, who tend to be significantly less wealthy than non-village residents?

If a local police department is always the right answer then why doesn’t Barre have its own police department? Or Carlton? Are students in Medina, Albion, and Holley protected, while students in Lyndonville and Kendall are being left to the wolves?

Every year our village has seen our share of the tax base get smaller. People are making their own choice – which is often to move to a home outside of the village. We need to be making smarter decisions so that it makes just as much economic sense to build a new home in the village as it does to build one outside.

If you believe that village residents should have a say in the decisions that directly affect not only our security but the future of the village, then on March 20th please vote for Riley, Dragon and Walter.

Thank you.

Jason Dragon

Sandra Walter

Albion