Albion trustee says law enforcement study left unanswered questions
I have been out of state for three days and would like to address a Letter to the Editor that was addressed to me while I was gone. The letter in question is from Mr. Bob Harker. Sir, I would like to break your letter down so I can give it the full response that it deserves:
First, you quoted my statement that “tax-savings at the expense of public safety is not a way to reduce spending.” You wondered where I got my facts. I, just like you, was at the roll out of the study regarding the sheriff’s department taking over policing within the village of Albion.
Apparently we interpreted the study much differently from each other. The study clearly stated that “only one officer is necessary between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., Monday through Friday.” We currently have three officers most nights (with a minimum of two).
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the study (and “projected” cost savings) based on one officer? I didn’t hear any other number of officers discussed (for the same cost anyway) between those hours. So that looks like a 50-67% reduction in services offered to our residents.
If any other officers are added, the cost rises and tax savings is reduced. There really isn’t much of a tax savings and our coverage more than likely is reduced. In fact, if you remember correctly, my last question to the moderator was, “So when it’s all said and done, there may not be much savings at all?” His reply: “Probably not.”
Secondly, regarding your comment, “the same officers that people have come to know would patrol the same streets they do today,” I would have to respectfully disagree with that statement. Due to the two different retirement systems that cover both the deputies and any other police officer in the State of New York, you will not see a mass exodus from a police force to a sheriff’s department. They will transfer to other police departments. Talk to a police officer from anywhere about that and see what they tell you. Unless they are set on staying in this area, many police officers will move on to other police departments.
Thirdly, I feel you are quite presumptuous that anyone, union members included, has influenced my decision to worry about the safety of the residents of the Village of Albion. Since we have never met, you must be getting your false information from someone else. I wonder who that might be? Your recent letter (and your previous one) begs the question of your continued concern into this matter. You are very magnanimous to be willing to pay more in taxes so we can (allegedly) pay less. I wonder if other county taxpayers are as generous as you.
Finally, can you tell me HOW (other than increased taxes) you “firmly believe that better coverage for all county residents will be the result”? I will await your reply.
Trustee for Village of Albion