Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 3:46:46 PM

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Task Force Meets To Discuss Potential Police Department Merge

The public was invited to listen in on a meeting of a task force established to study a potential merge of the Endicott Police Department into the Broome County Sheriff's Office.

The committee is made up of Village Trustees, the Endicott Police Chief and representatives from the Broome County Sheriff's Office. 

On Monday, they held their second meeting--the first one that was open to the public. The committee is reviewing a draft of a potential agreement between the two departments. That preliminary draft raised several concerns.

If the merge were to take place, the Endicott Police Station would only be open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is currently open 24 hours a day.

Some committee members were also concerned that after the merge, some of the 28 Endicott officers would lose their seniority when it comes time to pick their shifts. They could also lose their sick days since they would now be a part of the Sheriff's Union.

"Forty days in this particular case, 40 days of sick time is just done. Is that going to cause us to have implementation problems of moving to a merger proposal? Certainly could, don't know yet,"
said Deputy Mayor Dave Baker.

"This proposal, very tough questions have to be answered. What do the people in this community want. So again, I just go back to my original statement that the Sheriff is committed to open discussions with the people of this community to do what's best for them," said Captain Fred Akshar of the Broome County Sheriffs.

The Sheriff had said by combining the departments, they could save the village close to $200,000.

The Deputy Mayor said on Monday he wasn't sure what amount of savings it would take for him to suggest the merge is the best option. He hoped to have a better idea at next week's meeting scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Monday.

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