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Police Department talk sparks heated debate in Endicott

ENDICOTT -- A stormy, emotion-filled session as the debate continues.

The debate over whether the village should dissolve its police department, and put it under the control and management of Broome County.

The Village Board passed a resolution which will allow talks on the transfer of the police department to the county, but not without a lot of
arguments Tuesday night.
The Village Board meeting was packed with Endicott police officers and concerned citizens.  The majority of the speakers were upset the village would consider such a move.

As we've reported Mayor Bertoni says the proposal means all Endicott police except for the police chief would be hired by the county and serve the Endicott precinct.  That could add up to an estimated $200 thousand in savings.

Many of the village trustees stressed they would like more time to  discuss the idea with the Sheriffs Department and meet with the Police Benevolent Association.  Trustees emphasized today that discussions  with the Sheriffs Office are in there early stages.

"We have not had the discussions I feel are needed but before we even get to that point my feeling is you have to talk to your employees first," said Village Trustee Joseph Nirchi.  "You have contract issues which will lower the cost of the police department.  A lot of the issues that were being brought up here, that were in the weeds so to speak, were brought up because they are part of a contract that was negotiated years ago."

"For 107 years there have been men and women in this police department that have given their lives to the village," said Dennis Dewitte, President of the Endicott Police Benevolent Association.  "So there is a level of commitment that certainly is professionl and it's a level that's caring and we're certainly concerned about providing that service."

No representatives from the Sheriffs Office where there Tuesday.

Village Trustees will now meet with the the Endicott Police Benevolent Association to discuss cost and staffing with and without merging the two departments.

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