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Mount Kisco Police Consolidation Contract OKed By County Board Committees

George Longworth, commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety. Longworth discussed the proposed Mount Kisco police consolidation contract with county lawmakers at a meeting of the two committees. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
Legislative committees, pictured, approved the police consolidation contract with Mount Kisco, sending the item to the full County Board. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A pair of Westchester County legislative committees voted unanimously on Monday in favor of the police consolidation contract with Mount Kisco.

The county's full Board of Legislators will vote on the agreement when it meets on Monday, May 11, according to County Legislator Peter Harckham, whose district includes Mount Kisco.

The agreement was approved by the Public Safety and Budget and Appropriations committees and Harckham is a member of both.

The committees' approval comes roughly two weeks after Mount Kisco's Village Board of Trustees approved the contract , which is officially called an Intermunicipal Agreement (IMA).

The terms of the IMA call for the county's Department of Public Safety to dedicate 25 police personnel to Mount Kisco. The village's existing police station would also be used by county police. Seventeen of the personnel would be involved with patrols, with a two-person minimum for a given time. Additionally, the IMA calls for having three detectives and five sergeants.

The contract includes annual payments from the village to the county. The starting rate, which is effective for this year, is $6,437,548, with the number escalating annually. The deal expires on Dec. 31, 2019 and the final annual figure is $6,936,035. Mount Kisco is required to make payments in installments each year by July 1 and Dec. 1.

County Legislator Sheila Marcotte, who chairs the Budget and Appropriations Committee, requested a copy of a legal opinion from Mount Kisco Village Attorney Whitney Singleton regarding the notion of having a referendum for the IMA.

Singleton previously told Daily Voice that state law does not offer a framework for having a referendum on IMA's, although one exists if a police department is being abolished. In Mount Kisco's case, Singleton notes that the police department is not being abolished.

Based on IMA terms and comments from Mayor Michael Cindrich, a smaller contingent of the village police force will remain, including the chief, with potential remaining tasks including parking enforcement and court security.

Not included in the IMA is a key part of the broader deal, which is for Mount Kisco's police personnel to resign their positions and join the county Police Department. Officers will each do so individually, Cindrich said at the board's last meeting.

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