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x635

Putnam considers merging PDs

42 posts in this topic

Putnam County is looking into the possibility of merging all local police departments into one countywide law enforcement unit, and commissioning a formal study on the potential impacts.

Article: http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/2015/03/22/putnam-police-consolidation/25204439/

ja3kfd likes this

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Genius!

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As I said on this site some 5 years ago, "This is just the beginning of consolidation of services" (And the "Home Rule: in NYS will end up being abolished by the politicians, who will bow to the wishes of the tax payers)

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So, you'd have a Putnam County Police Department and a Putnam County Sheriffs Office doing the same thing, at the same time, in the same place?

The way the article reads it would be Putnam Sheriff. It works in LI where there are both Nassau and Suffolk PD and Sheriff's. Granted the (LI) Sheriff's primarily are responsible for jail.

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The way the article reads it would be Putnam Sheriff. It works in LI where there are both Nassau and Suffolk PD and Sheriff's. Granted the (LI) Sheriff's primarily are responsible for jail.

I don't read it that way. The article goes out of it's way to never directly link the merger with the Sheriffs Office. Even the Sheriff himself, who arguably would be that much more powerful, gives a very lukewarm quote. That being said, I personally think it should be the Sheriffs Office. The idea of two independent, county-wide police/patrol agencies is nonsensical.

lad12derff likes this

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With the tax cap, I think more and more agencies are going to start realizing that consolidation may be the only hope for staying alive. Many may not have a choice unless they want to make drastic cuts in staffing and services which could render their agencies useless. As INIT95 referenced above, it doesn't sound like the county is too enthusiastic about this idea though, and makes it seem it would be a separate agency. Carmel PD is the one spearheading this, not the County, because they see the tax cap becoming a problem.

It will be interesting to see where this goes.

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Remember what Bnechis said about two year's ago about the cap. FD's and PD's are going to fail and fall by the wayside

Bnechis likes this

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From my sources within Putnam the Sheriffs office road patrol kent Carmel police departments will all merge into a Putnam county police department.. The sheriff will only stay on to cover the jail and civil matters

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Remember what Bnechis said about two year's ago about the cap. FD's and PD's are going to fail and fall by the wayside

Thanks. I actual 1st wrote it as part of a consolidation study 5 years ago (before the cap was passed), warning depts. that the cap was coming and it would force this.

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From my sources within Putnam the Sheriffs office road patrol kent Carmel police departments will all merge into a Putnam county police department.. The sheriff will only stay on to cover the jail and civil matters

Facscinating that there are sources before the study actually starts to decide what would be consolidated and how.

I'm pretty sure that the sheriff will have something to say about his jurisdiction being curtailed to make room for this "new" agency.

INIT915 likes this

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Remember what Bnechis said about two year's ago about the cap. FD's and PD's are going to fail and fall by the wayside

PD's and FD's are pricing themselves right out of existence. The article says that the Carmel PD is about 33% of the town's entire budget. That's a huge expense for one department.

SageVigiles likes this

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I don't read it that way. The article goes out of it's way to never directly link the merger with the Sheriffs Office. Even the Sheriff himself, who arguably would be that much more powerful, gives a very lukewarm quote. That being said, I personally think it should be the Sheriffs Office. The idea of two independent, county-wide police/patrol agencies is nonsensical.

You forgot to mention the state police which would be a third, independent, county-wide police/patrol agency.

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So does this mean Philipstown and Putnam Valley (who incidentally disbanded their local PD due to the expense [and politics]) will now have to subsidize the police services in Carmel and Kent?

Will the distribution of resources be equitable or will it just mean that the west side of the county continues to pay for services they don't receive because they're all focused on the east side of the county?

x635 likes this

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Exactly right. A "source" at this stage is just guessing, nothing more. Given the enthusiasm outlined in that article, this sound FAR from a done deal, let alone what the logistics are.

Facscinating that there are sources before the study actually starts to decide what would be consolidated and how.

I'm pretty sure that the sheriff will have something to say about his jurisdiction being curtailed to make room for this "new" agency.

velcroMedic1987 likes this

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Yes, I agree. SP Cortlandt patrols Putnam Valley & Garrison, SP Wappingers covers North Highlands, SP Stormville covers the Taconic region, SP Brewster covers Southeast, Brewster, Patterson, and Putnam Lake, SP East Fishkill covers the I-84 region throughout Putnam and SP Somers covers the Carmel area.

You forgot to mention the state police which would be a third, independent, county-wide police/patrol agency.

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Thanks. I actual 1st wrote it as part of a consolidation study 5 years ago (before the cap was passed), warning depts. that the cap was coming and it would force this.

While I realize this site is a fire/police/ems site, the tax cap actually hits EVERY government agency equally (except maybe the village manager's/mayor's office). But DPW, building, etc are all unable to replace retiring employees. It's an issue that won't go away and won't make any governmental agency effective. Consolidation...only if the politicians will allow it to go through.

BFD1054 and Bnechis like this

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SP is always going to provide patrol services. Everyone in the state pays for that service so its not likely to go anywhere.

I agree that this is probably all academic at this point, but maybe the Sheriff's "lukewarm" response to the idea is due to his concern/fear for the future of his department. Think about the possible implications for a Sheriff's Office if a County Police is formed, and again I stress this is ALL HYPOTHETICAL:

1. All field law enforcement operations become the County PD's responsibility. Sheriff's Office becomes responsible only for court security, county jail, and serving legal process. Hardly an exciting prospect for those working for the SO.

2. As in Westchester County, the County PD takes charge of almost everything and the Sheriff's Office becomes an Auxiliary unit.

Also, if there is a County PD formed I'd be surprised if an elected politician is put in charge of it...

AFS1970 likes this

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SP is always going to provide patrol services. Everyone in the state pays for that service so its not likely to go anywhere.

I agree that this is probably all academic at this point, but maybe the Sheriff's "lukewarm" response to the idea is due to his concern/fear for the future of his department. Think about the possible implications for a Sheriff's Office if a County Police is formed, and again I stress this is ALL HYPOTHETICAL:

1. All field law enforcement operations become the County PD's responsibility. Sheriff's Office becomes responsible only for court security, county jail, and serving legal process. Hardly an exciting prospect for those working for the SO.

2. As in Westchester County, the County PD takes charge of almost everything and the Sheriff's Office becomes an Auxiliary unit.

Also, if there is a County PD formed I'd be surprised if an elected politician is put in charge of it...

SP is always going to provide patrol services. Everyone in the state pays for that service so its not likely to go anywhere.

I agree that this is probably all academic at this point, but maybe the Sheriff's "lukewarm" response to the idea is due to his concern/fear for the future of his department. Think about the possible implications for a Sheriff's Office if a County Police is formed, and again I stress this is ALL HYPOTHETICAL:

1. All field law enforcement operations become the County PD's responsibility. Sheriff's Office becomes responsible only for court security, county jail, and serving legal process. Hardly an exciting prospect for those working for the SO.

2. As in Westchester County, the County PD takes charge of almost everything and the Sheriff's Office becomes an Auxiliary unit.

Also, if there is a County PD formed I'd be surprised if an elected politician is put in charge of it...

It may be only State left standing one day.

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SP is always going to provide patrol services. Everyone in the state pays for that service so its not likely to go anywhere.

I agree that this is probably all academic at this point, but maybe the Sheriff's "lukewarm" response to the idea is due to his concern/fear for the future of his department. Think about the possible implications for a Sheriff's Office if a County Police is formed, and again I stress this is ALL HYPOTHETICAL:

1. All field law enforcement operations become the County PD's responsibility. Sheriff's Office becomes responsible only for court security, county jail, and serving legal process. Hardly an exciting prospect for those working for the SO.

2. As in Westchester County, the County PD takes charge of almost everything and the Sheriff's Office becomes an Auxiliary unit.

Also, if there is a County PD formed I'd be surprised if an elected politician is put in charge of it...

Sheriffs Office in Westchester handes the civil matters. They also have a part-time unit of deputies who assist county and local PD with additional manpower. Sheriff role was merged with Commissioner through a legal change. Other counties kept the 2 roles separate.

Putnam could end up like Nassau County with the Sheriff handling only civil and jail. PD handles LE functions.

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SP is always going to provide patrol services. Everyone in the state pays for that service so its not likely to go anywhere.

I agree that this is probably all academic at this point, but maybe the Sheriff's "lukewarm" response to the idea is due to his concern/fear for the future of his department. Think about the possible implications for a Sheriff's Office if a County Police is formed, and again I stress this is ALL HYPOTHETICAL:

1. All field law enforcement operations become the County PD's responsibility. Sheriff's Office becomes responsible only for court security, county jail, and serving legal process. Hardly an exciting prospect for those working for the SO.

2. As in Westchester County, the County PD takes charge of almost everything and the Sheriff's Office becomes an Auxiliary unit.

Also, if there is a County PD formed I'd be surprised if an elected politician is put in charge of it...

The Sheriff's Office is currently split, between the Road Patrol and Corrections.

The officers working these units are in different titles.

All of the Deputies working Road Patrol are certified as Police Officers in NYS and I believe are enrolled in the same NYS Police/Fire Pension system as almost every other cop in the State is.

Those Deputies would not necessarily have to be moved to Corrections or Civil duties.

That being said, it would be possible to merge the certified road patrol deputies into another agency, leaving the Civil and Corrections personnel in their present positions.

Again, I am not saying this is what will happen, only that this is one possible way of merging.

There will still be issues of personalities, egos, hurt feelings and so on as politics get involved..

Edited by 10512

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SP is always going to provide patrol services. Everyone in the state pays for that service so its not likely to go anywhere.

I agree that this is probably all academic at this point, but maybe the Sheriff's "lukewarm" response to the idea is due to his concern/fear for the future of his department. Think about the possible implications for a Sheriff's Office if a County Police is formed, and again I stress this is ALL HYPOTHETICAL:

1. All field law enforcement operations become the County PD's responsibility. Sheriff's Office becomes responsible only for court security, county jail, and serving legal process. Hardly an exciting prospect for those working for the SO.

2. As in Westchester County, the County PD takes charge of almost everything and the Sheriff's Office becomes an Auxiliary unit.

Also, if there is a County PD formed I'd be surprised if an elected politician is put in charge of it...

Sheriffs Office in Westchester handes the civil matters. They also have a part-time unit of deputies who assist county and local PD with additional manpower. Sheriff role was merged with Commissioner through a legal change. Other counties kept the 2 roles separate.

Putnam could end up like Nassau County with the Sheriff handling only civil and jail. PD handles LE functions.

I think you're underestimating the power of the elected sheriff, especially in Putnam County. I don't think a lot of people are going to want to just cede control to the county executive or whomever would appoint a Police Commissioner.

The Sheriff's Office will certainly not want to be relegated to jail and civil duties alone and give up road patrol. Look at the battles raging in Rockland County about the Sheriff's road patrol. Westchester's "Sheriff" is the commissioner of public safety. The Public Safety Emergency Force is their "auxiliary" unit. And call it like it is, the County PD doesn't take almost everything anywhere. They're even second fiddle to the state police in Cortlandt where they're contracted for police service. County PD is only primary on parkways, parks and the airport. Hardly like Nassau or Suffolk.

It is true that "everyone in the state" pays for the state police but are their services equitably distributed? Is it fair to say that they "always provide patrol services"? They don't in NYC so half the population of the state is paying for something they don't receive. Do they do anything besides parkway patrol on Long Island?

Be careful saying always and never. It is definitely not a clear-cut process or decision. I'm also willing to bet that the residents of Carmel and Kent will fight against seeing their taxes being used to send their cops to other towns. I believe a study recently showed that Carmel PD was substantially understaffed based on calls for service, arrests, etc.

INIT915 likes this

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If the police departments are thinking about consolidating, one can only hope that the fire departments do the same

dwcfireman likes this

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I just want to say that as a resident of Carmel and a fireman wahoo works with them on scenes: they are an extraordinary department that does more for their town then they are equipped and staffed for... I believe the town residents will be very hesitant in giving up their town police after the way Putnam Valley was treated by the county when they gave up theirs.

x635 likes this

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Here is an article about a recent merger in Bergen County, NJ. The good thing is that nobody is losing their jobs.

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If the police departments are thinking about consolidating, one can only hope that the fire departments do the same

Keep dreaming......hahahaha

From the fire side of the issue, you're never going to get commissioners to say that consolidation of fire departments is a good thing, especially in all of these towns where the commissioners are also firefighters and have too much pride for their respective companies.. This one is going to have to come from the taxpayers (once they all figure it out and band together). I say, let this one play out and see how it works for a full county of police departments, then maybe we can re-discuss the idea for the fire departments.

trauma74 likes this

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Yeah well the tax payers should know that these departments can not provide adequate fire protection, the sooner the better

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adequate

This needs to be defined, as everyone has their own definition, and it's different for every service and different for every region. Adequate for one place may be 3 PO's for a domestic in one town, but the next town over may think it's 2 and another town will think it's 4. Same thing with the fire service....Town A is happy with 2 engines and a ladder (all fully staffed) for a residential alarm, but town B is happy with 1 and 1 half staffed.

But, since this is a PD concern (Putnam County POLICE agencies) let's focus on that. I'm sure the study that they are going to conduct will come up with an adequate solution based on the information they gather from all of the towns/villages/etc and the study will give the county and its residents an idea of how to consolidate the police/sheriff departments. I've never heard of a true law enforcement consolidation before, so it's likely that this study will take a while, and I'm sure many residents from Putnam are going to voice their concerns and put in their 2 cents, as well as many ideas from within the affected agencies. I don't plan on following the study closely, but it will be cool to see what they come up with in the end.

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This needs to be defined, as everyone has their own definition, and it's different for every service and different for every region.....Town A is happy with 2 engines and a ladder (all fully staffed) for a residential alarm, but town B is happy with 1 and 1 half staffed.

I call Bull S**T

It is defined, Lets start with OSHA 2in 2ot requires 4 interior plus IC & pump operator to go in and save property. If you can not do this 100% of the calls you are sub standard. I do not care how "happy" the town is.

Next its defined by NFPA standard 1710 which requires career depts. to but an engine with 3/1 on scene in 4 minutes 90% of the time and the remainder of the 1st alarm (min of 16ff) in 8 minutes 90% of the time. And for those that want to start the we don't need to follow the 1710 standard because we are not career. The NYS Insurance commissioner last year approved the new ISO standard which measures ALL departments based on 1710. So the "town" is happy and it does not meet this? If more than 10 people in the entire town knows about it I'd be stunned.

What about the ISO standard that requires a minimum of 2 engines and 1 ladder or service company on all fire calls?

Again does anyone in town even know this?

How many citizens and politicians believe the fire departments web site that claims we have 200+ members? I must be safe look at how many they have.....

How many happy citizens listen to 60 control tone out: "any available members on the 3rd dispatch" ?

Most are happy because they either do not think they will ever need it or because they believe the FD is capable of doing a good job.

What about the ISO

Dinosaur likes this

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I call Bull S**T

It is defined, Lets start with OSHA 2in 2ot requires 4 interior plus IC & pump operator to go in and save property. If you can not do this 100% of the calls you are sub standard. I do not care how "happy" the town is.

Next its defined by NFPA standard 1710 which requires career depts. to but an engine with 3/1 on scene in 4 minutes 90% of the time and the remainder of the 1st alarm (min of 16ff) in 8 minutes 90% of the time. And for those that want to start the we don't need to follow the 1710 standard because we are not career. The NYS Insurance commissioner last year approved the new ISO standard which measures ALL departments based on 1710. So the "town" is happy and it does not meet this? If more than 10 people in the entire town knows about it I'd be stunned.

What about the ISO standard that requires a minimum of 2 engines and 1 ladder or service company on all fire calls?

Again does anyone in town even know this?

How many citizens and politicians believe the fire departments web site that claims we have 200+ members? I must be safe look at how many they have.....

How many happy citizens listen to 60 control tone out: "any available members on the 3rd dispatch" ?

Most are happy because they either do not think they will ever need it or because they believe the FD is capable of doing a good job.

What about the ISO

You tell them Barry (these Towns and Villages haven't a clue). It will take just one major lawsuit that some hot shot lawyer will come in and quote ISO and NFPA Standards, and that Town or Village will be paying out BIG TIME, for things to change. Until then, keeping the "Good Old Boys' club separate from what is "RIGHT" will continue to go on (See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil)

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