MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – The proposed police consolidation between Mount Kisco and Westchester County has moved closer to happening after years of negotiations.
Mount Kisco’s Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved a contract on Monday night outlining what policing services Westchester County’s Department of Public Safety will provide locally and for how much. The deal is officially called an intermunicipal agreement, or IMA.
Several officers from both the county and village were in attendance for the board’s vote.
Consolidation talks had been going on for three years, officials noted.
Under the IMA, the county police will provide 25 personnel to work in the village. This will include 17 patrol officers, with a minimum of two of them on patrol at a given time, three detectives and five supervising sergeants. The county police would occupy Mount Kisco’s police station, although the village would still be responsible for maintaining it.
The IMA does not include a key provision of the overall deal, however, which is for village police department members to resign and join the county police at equivalent ranks. Mayor Michael Cindrich explained at the meeting that those making the switch would do so individually instead.
Although the county would be taking over most of policing duties, the overall deal does not call for abolishing the village’s police department. Some law-enforcement tasks, such as court security and parking enforcement, may continue to be provided by the village. Cindrich, during a response to public comment, noted that those who would be kept by the village would be a "small contingent of patrolmen and the chief of police.”
The proposed policing contract would start this year at a beginning annual rate of $6,437,548. It would run until Dec. 31, 2019 and the final annual rate would be $6,936,035. Mount Kisco’s due dates for paying Westchester County in two installments are on July 1 and Dec. 1 of each contract year.
In contrast, Cindrich said at the meeting that to bring the police department up to par, including having salaries and technology requested by personnel, would result in a policing budget of over $8 million.
The trustees’ approval of the IMA is just the first of many needed before it can take effect. The legislation needs approval from both Westchester County’s Board of Legislators and Board of Acquisition and Contract, Cindrich said.
At the meeting, some residents criticized the board either on the merits of the deal or argued that there wasn't enough transparency, citing the IMA being made public last week. Some called for a public referendum on the deal or at least more public input. Village officials defended the handling of the process, citing previous disclosures of it and in taking public comments.
Daily Voice will have a follow up article on public remarks at the meeting.
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