RAVENA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Coeyman’s Town board voted unanimously on Thursday to cut $280,000 in funding for its police department. The cuts were made to help balance the budget.
In a five-year agreement with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department signed at the meeting, the town will only cut hours to part-time patrol officers, an issue raised by one town officer.
“Some of our officers will receive a bi-weekly paycheck for three days total and one question I ask is how can we expect someone to make a living or contribute to their family, especially in the state of New York, based on this merit?” said Coeymans Police Officer Michael Case.
The town will receive additional patrols from the Albany County Sheriff’s Department in exchange for providing a sub station in the town for deputies.
Sheriff Craig Apple said these patrols already come to town. This agreement would give the town dedicated patrols.
“My commitment to the town of Coeymans is that we will dedicate every resource we have,” Apple said.
The conversation leading to Thursday’s agreement began back in November during a meeting with Sheriff Apple and Town Supervisor George McHugh.
“I’ve taken a lot of notes and I’ve heard everybody’s concerns, and I will tell you that I will get this budget issue resolved as soon as possible, take action on what’s most important to you, which I think is public safety and maintaining our police department,” said McHugh.
The supervisor also discredited rumors that this is a move to cut the police department.
The money saved will be placed in a contingency plan and cushion for holes in the budget.
The town will gain more patrol cars from this deal, though this may not be a permanent cut in funds for the police department.
There’s an option to to add more police positions once the budget issues are settled.