News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.
By Rick Pezzullo—
In less than two months, Alberto Ramos has been making his presence felt as the new community police officer in the Town of Cortlandt.
Ramos, a seven-year law enforcement officer who joined the Westchester County Department of Public Safety in 2020, has been focusing on traffic safety enforcement since assuming his new role in August and has issued more than 200 summonses, along with making a DWI arrest and impounding several vehicles for infractions.
“He’s working in this town to make a difference,” Acting Westchester Public Safety Commissioner Terrance Raynor said during a press conference Sept. 20 at Cortlandt Town Hall where Ramos was formally introduced.
In May, the Cortlandt Town Board agreed to hire another full-time community police officer from the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, which provides most of the police coverage in town.
The Cortlandt Police Department was abolished in 1998 by the town board at that time as a cost cutting move and police services were taken over by Westchester County and State Police.
Each officer costs Cortlandt approximately $250,000 annually, which includes salaries and benefits. Cortlandt’s total expenses to contract with the Westchester County Department of Public Safety are about $1 million annually.
“The Town of Cortlandt is fortunate to have this excellent service provided by the Westchester County Department of Public Safety,” said Cortlandt Supervisor Dr. Richard Becker.
Despite crime being down about 15% in Westchester, Becker said there has been a perception in some sectors of the community that there is rampant crime and that policing efforts in town were inadequate.
“This is a perfect example of governments cooperating together,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “What doesn’t make news is when there is an absence of crime. We’re very happy the county can be part of this. We view this as a good step forward.”
Ramos will primarily be assigned to traffic safety campaigns and enforcement details throughout the town. In addition, the department anticipates working collaboratively with the State Police and neighboring police departments on joint traffic safety enforcement details.
In addition to the patrol officers assigned to the Cortlandt Precinct, Westchester County police officers serve as School Resource Officers in a number of schools in the town. The Lakeland School District contracts for three SROs and the Hendrick Hudson School District for two.
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/