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police & fire

Police Consolidation Credited With Aiding Mount Kisco Homicide Probe

A Westchester County police car parked in Mount Kisco.
A Westchester County police car parked in Mount Kisco. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Mount Kisco's police consolidation with Westchester County is being cited by officials as helping with the investigation into the death of Jose Sanchez, whose body was found Sunday in a wooded area in the village.

The investigation, which lead to the detainment and manslaughter charge of Freddy Coronado-Mendez, came just weeks after the Westchester County Department of Public Safety took over major law-enforcement duties locally. The deal, which is governed by a mutli-year contract between the county and Mount Kisco, calls for the county to provide a dedicated policing staff amount in the village. Most of the Mount Kisco police personnel resigned their village posts and were hired by the county police.

It was this staffing combination that earned praise from Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

“This investigation brought the best of both worlds to the task," he said at a Tuesday press conference. "The former members of the Mount Kisco Police Department, particularly the detectives that were assigned here, made great use of their knowledge of the community and its people to develop important leads.”

Astorino personally administered the oaths of office to former village police department members who switched the county, which was held at a packed gathering at the local courthouse on June 1.

Mount Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich praised the consolidation and how it has worked out so far.

“The success of the program has been overwhelming, and this incident – how tragic it is – it’s an incident where the response was immediate, effective and efficient.”

George Longworth, the county police department's commissioner, was asked during the press conference how the investigation would have been different had the village police force been in charge, which was its role prior to the consolidation. Responding, Longworth referred to there being a "force multiplier" of county detective units and credited the amount of manpower involved in helping with the pace.

Mount Kisco's village police department is still legally intact. However, the only remaining full-time staff are Chief Joseph Spinelli - he has attended press conferences pertaining to Sanchez's death - and Lt. Louis Terlizzi, who has been a vocal critical of the deal.

The remaining functions of the village police include court security and parking enforcement, Cindrich previously said.

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