The Examiner

Grant Boosts Mt. Kisco, County Police Consolidation Chances

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The likelihood of the Mount Kisco Police Department and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety consolidating operations was significantly increased this week after the state provided the village with a $340,000 grant.

The money, derived through the Local Government Performance and Efficiency Program, would be used to pay the costs associated with a police consolidation.

“The New York State grant is a validation of our efforts to reduce taxes, and reduce the duplication of services,” said Mount Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich.

Officials from both departments have been working closely with each other over the past several weeks on issues regarding consolidation, said Kieran O’Leary, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

O’Leary said attorneys representing both levels of government have been ironing out the language of a potential agreement. A key issue is how to allow Mount Kisco police officers to maintain their rank after a consolidation, O’Leary said.

Recently, county police have come to Mount Kisco to patrol with the village’s officers to become more familiar with the community, he said. County police have also been dispatching at the village’s police headquarters to acquaint themselves with the facility.

Police consolidation talks have been ongoing between the two entities since 2011.

“The timetable is not something I can control,” Cindrich said. “The (county) commissioner of human resources, who must approve the transfer of individual officers, has asked for information that we have supplied. The legal documents are close to being finalized and forwarded to the county Board of Legislators for approval.”

If consolidation, which is endorsed by the Mount Kisco Police Benevolent Association, takes place, village officers would continue to have a presence in the municipality. Shifts would include three officers patrolling the village during the day and evening while two officers would provide coverage during the overnight period.

In addition, the county would provide the village with a full-time sergeant who would work in a supervisory capacity. The village’s detective division would be supervised by the county’s detectives.

It has been estimated that if consolidation goes forward Mount Kisco would save $2.4 million over the first five years. The village board and the Board of Legislators would each have to approve a merger.

Cindrich noted that Westchester has been a leader in service consolidation. The county consolidated emergency management, fire department dispatch, police and fire training and the licensing of tradesmen and taxi drivers, he said. The county also provides solid waste disposal and other services that save municipalities significant money.

“The Mount Kisco (intermunicipal agreement) for supplemental police services is another example of progressive leadership working to save tax dollars without reducing services,” Cindrich said.


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