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

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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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