Study To Consider Merging Police Agencies in Schenectady
By Dave Lucas
Albany, NY – Folding several authorities into one central law enforcement body is now being seriously considered in Schenectady County, where City Mayor Brian Stratton's idea to consolidate city police with the County Sheriff's Department and other police agencies in surrounding areas gets a shot in the arm: Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
A Columbia University professor has been brought into the mix. The director of the Picker Center for Executive Education at Columbia, Doctor William Eimicke, says his team will conduct a 4-month study to see if Schenectady County taxpayers will save money under Stratton's plan.
Schenectady County Legislature chairwoman Susan Savage and Niskayuna Supervisor Joe Landry have gone on record expressing their displeasure with Stratton's proposal. Landry says he would have preferred that Stratton contact him when it came to a police department matter.
Landy says Niskayuna residents are very happy with the services provided with their local police and don't seem to support any idea of merging with other agencies. Landy is disappointed the city isn't using local Union College staff for the study.
In March of 2009, Stratton went to New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, asking for his assistance in exploring all options for dissolving the Schenectady Police Department and determining viable alternatives to providing policing and public safety services for the city's 62,000 residents. Eimicke says his research team previously worked with the Attorney General's office.
A draft of the consolidation study will be ready in December and it is schedule to be finished by mid-January.