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New Cops, Firefighters to be Added in White Plains Budget
Three additional police officers and three new firefighters will be funded in the City of White Plains’ 2023-24 budget.
Budget Director James Arnett told the Common Council during a special meeting April 17 seven positions overall were being added to the payroll, which makes up about 43% of the city’s budget.
City taxes are slated to rise 1.6%, which would represent about a $50 tax increase next year for most homeowners.
Department of Public Safety Police Commissioner David Chong explained additional personnel was sorely needed with the calls for service on the rise.
“We need it. The city is growing,” Chong said. “Your Police Department is running on all cylinders. We are really emphasizing safety, safety, safety.”
Chong said police calls have increased 10 percent, with 75% of calls requiring more than one officer.
“The days of one cop, one call are over,” he said. “Our radio never stops. We’re busy. You call us, we’re there. Towns and villages have nowhere near the excitement we have.”
Chong noted firefighters and EMS workers were equally busy, with emergency calls also jumping by about 10 percent. He said there were 4,034 EMS calls in 2022. This year, 1,075 EMS calls have already been recorded.
“You ask for an ambulance, you get an ambulance,” Chong said. “We respond quickly and we put out the fire. As the city grows, we have to grow.”
Board President Justin Brasch expressed the council’s gratitude for the sacrifices of the police and firefighters.
“Public safety is a top priority for everyone in our city,” he said.
A public hearing on the budget will be held on Monday, May 1. The annual spending plan must be adopted by the council by May 30, according to the City Charter.
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/