Albany County Legislators wants Albany to use relief funds for bills

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Albany county sheriffs cars

Albany County Sheriff’s Office car

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Republicans in the Albany County Legislature are calling for Albany to pay for its cost of increased police protection from the Albany County sheriff’s department. They say the department has already spent more than $1.1 million in overtime, dispatching, and related costs for its exceeding efforts in police patrols.

The increased patrols were a direct result of an uptick in violent crime throughout the city. The Sheriff called the increased presence a success by removing weapons from the streets and cracking down on dangerous and illegal activities.

The County Legislature is now calling on the city to pay for some of the increased patrols offered by the Sheriff’s Office. Legislature Minority Leader Frank Mauriello suggested the city use some of the $80 million in federal COVID-relief funds the city has received since the start of the pandemic.

“It is not usual for the sheriff’s department to receive money (chargebacks) from county municipalities for services provided beyond the norm,” said Mark Grimm, ranking member of the County Legislature Finance Committee. “This is a clear case of the extraordinary effort that requires reimbursement, especially considering the huge payment Albany received from the feds.”

During a recent county budget hearing, Sheriff Craig Apple said his deployment is straining his overtime budget for the current Fiscal Year. He has requested an increase in funding for additional dispatchers because of the overflow of 911 calls from Albany.

Apple said the department receives about 270 overflow calls in a single weekend. He says he does not have the adequate number of dispatchers needed to handle calls, placing city residents in jeopardy if the County did not answer through the E-911 roll-over system.

Republican leaders said they will submit a resolution in the Legislature, calling for a payment schedule between the City and the Sheriff’s Office. Republicans say city leadership has not responded to their request for payment.

The Mayor’s office has declined to comment.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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