Friday, August 01, 2014 - 6:34:19 PM

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Ryan: Cost of Adding 20 Police Officers Irresponsible

Binghamton's Mayor is speaking out against the man who wants his job over criticism about the staffing level of the city's police force.

Republican Rich David has criticized mayor Matt Ryan for cutting police staff from 148, when David left city hall as deputy mayor in 2005, to 128 today. David blames the lower numbers for a rise in city crime.

Ryan did announce he was adding three more positions in his 2014 budget. Ryan says bringing staffing back to 148 police would add 3.4 percent to the city's tax burden and that his administration has given police tools to do their jobs more effectively.

"Just to play this political pandering game about adding 20 police officers which would cost about 1.2 million dollars, it's just irresponsible," said Ryan.

"I don't think there is a magic number, frankly. But I know that's where we started and quite frankly the city was safer eight years ago than it is today. So I want to steadily over time add officers to reach and restore that number to 148," said David.

Ryan said his administration has cut 75 jobs at city hall during his time in office. David says he will release a series of plans on how he'd improve the city starting next week.

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