The Northern Westchester Examiner

Somers Police Officer Residency Requirement Eliminated

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Over the objections of a State Police officer who lives in Somers, the Somers Town Board voted unanimously earlier this month to end its residency requirement for town police officers.

The legislation requires that applicants seeking to be part-time town police officers in Somers who do not live in town must otherwise reside in either Westchester or Putnam counties.

Patrick Bosley, 53, who has 32 years of police experience, told the board that town police officers should still be required to reside in Somers.

“I would still like to follow my passion and remain in law enforcement as a part-time Town of Somers police officer,” said Bosley, who noted he was about to retire from the State Police.

If the town board ended its residency requirement it “may deprive our town residents of the value gained from hiring within our community.” Bosley said.

“There is a bonus that comes with hiring a qualified resident,” Bosley said. “As a resident police officer you are much more likely to be completely committed to the people of the community. This is where you sleep, eat, where your children go to school and where you conduct your business and socialize.”

Town residents who are police officers would often be in town 24 hours a day, which would benefit Somers, Bosley said. “His or her off-duty eyes, ears and ability to take action cost the town nothing extra,” he said.

“Since it’s your town taxes that pay the salaries of our town police officers, we have an inherent obligation to take care of our own first,” Bosley said.

Despite Bosley’s comments, the board members said they agreed with the request from Police Chief Michael Driscoll to end the residency requirement. Supervisor Rick Morrissey said by dropping the requirement the town was expanding the pool of police officer candidates.

Councilman Thomas Garrity Jr. said the hiring of police officers should be “up to the chief.”

Councilman Anthony Cirieco maintained even with the ending of the residency requirement, Somers residents could still become town police officers.

Solar panels placement

Also at its recent meeting, the town board voted unanimously to place its free solar panels on the town library.

The panels were provided to the town because of its success in encouraging homeowners to install solar systems on their home through the Solarize Somers-New Castle program.

There will be 24, three-foot-by-five-foot solar panels provided to the town by installer Direct Energy Solar.

The library was one of three municipal sites proposed by the Somers Energy Environment Committee for placement of the panels, with the other locations being the Van Tassell House and the firehouse on Route 202.


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