Mount Kisco Seeks $400,000 Grant For County Police Merger Plans

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Photo Credit: Daily Voice File Photo

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Mount Kisco’s government is seeking $400,000 in state grant funding to pay for transitional costs in connection with a potential local police consolidation with Westchester County law enforcement.

At its June 2 meeting, the Village Board of Trustees voted unanimously to give authorization to apply for the grant under the state’s Local Government Efficiency Program. Westchester County is intended to be a co-applicant.

Under the proposed consolidation, Mount Kisco would enter into a contract with the county government so that the Westchester County Department of Public Safety would provide a specific number of police officers dedicated to the village.

Local police would resign and become county officers, according to Mayor Michael Cindrich. The village’s police station would also be converted into county police office space and would be used for report writing and the Detective Division. Cindrich also does not feel that response time would be slower.

The contract would result in an estimated savings of around $2.4 million over a five-year period, although Cindrich said the agreement would be “cost neutral.”

The mayor, who calls the estimated savings “significant,” noted that more police would be on patrol.

If county police assume law enforcement duties, Mount Kisco would join Cortlandt and the Town of Ossining as among those who receive such support. The Village of Ossining has its own police force.

The grant, which would involve a 10-percent match of up to $40,000, would pay for an array of transitional expenses. Examples, according to Cindrich, include equipment, vehicles and retrofitting the existing building.

Since the village and the county, who have been in consolidation talks since late 2011, have not yet agreed to a deal, using the grant money would be contingent upon an agreement.

A deal will not be made without public input, Cindrich explained. He feels that there is misinformation, including the notion that county police would be responding from elsewhere.

A public information meeting will be held at a later date as part of the process.

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Comments (19)

I agree with Kim for the most part. Yes, the department is understaffed. The costs to hire and train enough officers to bring it up to par will be staggering. Yes, the department is under-resourced. The costs to purchase new equipment and bring the budget up to par will be staggering. Yes, the department is underpaid – for the most part – but it’s amazing that Kim would mention this in light of the fact that her husband, a Mt. Kisco police lieutenant (and department overtime King), made $197K in 2010, $167K in 2011 & 2012, and $174K in 2013. (Source: seethroughny.net) And yes, morale is low. Is it any wonder why when a department administrator is the #1 overtime grabber? Is it any wonder why Kim would be against consolidation when her husband IS that administrator? I thank Mayor Cindrich for looking out for the best interests of the TAXPAYERS and providing open-minded leadership for our Village.

Exactly my point...the department is grossly understaffed because the VILLAGE BOARD refuses to fill vacancies, example :no Chief for over 2 years, 2 Lieutenant spots vacant and 5 patrol positions not filled,
That is why there is so much overtime. BTW...My husband would be paid a significantly higher salary if the merger goes through, so clearly this is not about $$. Perhaps Mayor Cindrich is not looking out for the best interest of the Village and its taxpayers, perhaps this has more to do with the fact his son is a high ranking member with the Westchester County police. Again I ask, why not let the resident decide? Put it to a vote!

Kimdeckerterlizzi....for such a short article you have a very strong opinion and a lot of facts. I think you should go to the meeting to see what the plan is. With these times I'm sure the village isn't looking to spend more money, but to save the taxpayers. Maybe you will be pleased to hear the plan for a better protected village, since it seems like you are a resident.

Of course I will be there and I have a lot of facts because I have been closely watching this unfold for the past two years. Everyone that has responded to me has had a lot to say but I notice that none of you can answer my one and only question.. Do you think this should be decided on by the residents of this village by putting it up for a vote? Legally is must be!

So you’re in favor of filling vacancies; a Chief, two lieutenants, and five patrol officers, at a five-year aggregate COST to the taxpayer of ~$3.85 million - in order to get a 34-man police department. How is that favorable to SAVING $2.4 million over the same time period and getting a department of several hundred with much greater resources? No thanks, Kim. Thank you, Mayor Cindrich.

How is it possible that we are getting more police officers being paid a much higher salary per officer and yet we will save money. It simply does not add up. Cindrich can not even guarantee that response times will not be slower! Further more, all of the county recourses are available to EVERY police department in Westchester County, paid for by our county taxes. DB Grant..what happens when a few years down the road this plan fails and our taxes skyrocket, then what? Rebuilding the police department at that point would be cost prohibitive. Please, for the third time I am asking you... are you opposed to a resident vote on this issue?

I've lived in Cortlandt since before the Westchester County police took over in 1998. and I remember some residents being apprehensive about it. In truth, the Westchester County police have been great here. I have friends and family in Mt. Kisco and see no reason why the same wouldn't hold true there.

You all refer to the current condition of the police department, equipment and morale. This is 100% by design of the Village Board. They have not supported the police department for at least the past 10 years. The department has INTENTIONALLY been understaffed, under-resourced and under paid (the lowest in the County!) The law requires a referendum when a police department is abolished. Do this the right way...put it to a vote and let the tax payers decide! I also can't help but notice all the comments above are posted anonymously.

So to be clear, are you in favor of continuing to protect the village of Mt. Kisco with a Police Department that is not supported by the Village Board, is understaffed, ill equipped and underpaid although a sensible alternative with a very palatable incentive is now available?
Anonymity neither implies cowardice nor ignorance, simply a well thought out choice when on the internet.

Shouldn't the question be....why doesn't the Village Board support the local police department that has been in existence since 1875? What have they been doing with tax funds that are supposed to be used to properly fund the department. To be clear...my only and main point is that this needs to be decided by the tax paying residents of Mount Kisco. Do you object to that?

The department is not being abolished. Go to the meeting so u can hear what's happening instead of speaking about something that doesn't apply. Then you can be properly informed. Cost savings, no tax increase (which will happen if it doesn't happen), more police on the street, more proactive policing, better leadership, and quality control.....sounds like a No Brained...see u at the MTG

It is a de-facto abolishment of the Mount Kisco Police Department which requires a permissive referendum. Cost savings, no tax increase, more police on the streets...sounds similar to what the politicians promised us regarding healthcare reform. Again I ask, why not let the residents decide? Put it to a vote!

Definitely overdue, we will benefit so much from this not only will the coverage be better but the vehicles, equipment, training, and morale will improve 10 fold. Has anyone on here seen the condition of the police cars...wow is all I can say. I've been told that only two cars have radar and one of them doesn't even start anymore...that's why so many people are speeding around town and down residential streets.

I could only imagine the amount of money and the Tax Increase if this didn't happen just to re staff the department, try to salvage the police car fleet, and bring the technology up to at least the year 2000. There doesn't appear to be any law either like mentioned earlier. This is a WIN WIN for all involved.

What an improvement this would be! Long overdue! I remember the days growing up that we could walk to town hang out for a few hours with friends and walk home and our parents didnt think twice about saying that was ok because this was a much safer town... Now I wouldn't let my child hang out in town even if I dropped them off and picked them up... Crime has risen and the local police just can't keep up!
Being a long time resident, I have made friends with many of the officers in town! I would be very happy if this transition took place and even more happy for them! Hopefully it all works out for you boys!

A great opportunity to increase police presence in town. Why wasnt this done a long time ago? At least we will know who the Chief of Police is and who`s running the show. Everybody wins.

This consolidation decision is long overdue. The Mt. Kisco Police Department is overburdened and needs the support of the residents! With a savings of $2.4 million, no extra costs to consolidate and increased police coverage by local Police Officers with higher morale, it sounds like a no brainer.

Public input is NOT enough... by law this MUST be put to a vote. Let the tax paying residents of our village decide. Cost neutral = NO SAVINGS! Why do this? Plain and simple... YOU NEVER GIVE UP YOUR LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT!

What a great thing for the residents. The current department is running at minimum manpower which hasn't been modified since the 80's. The crime has skyrocketed and the call volume tripled. More cops on the street will make a muh nicer Village, just like the one I remember growing up in. With a large amount of family still there I am relieved.

Good News!!! Plus its not cost neutral its a large amount plus less liability...