In a letter to the editor last week [“Retired NYC police captain opposes incorporation plan,” June 7], retired NYPD police captain Thomas Cunningham suggested that if Edgemont were to become a village, it would need to hire and outfit its own SWAT team and build a police station. With all due respect to Mr. Cunningham’s NYPD experience, he seems to lack basic information on the provision of police services in Greenburgh.
Greenburgh has two budgets, one for the “Town Entire” (which includes the villages) and another for the Town Outside Villages (TOV, or unincorporated area).
The Town Entire budget includes the provision of a variety of services by the town of Greenburgh throughout both the villages and the unincorporated area, including SWAT. Don’t take my word for it, go to the town’s website, greenburghny.com, and read pages VIII-IX of the 2019 town budget.
With respect to the claim that Edgemont can’t afford to build its own police station, it seems like a strange argument to make when Edgemont’s current taxes to Greenburgh of $15.5 million (money that would be at the disposal of the village after incorporation) exceed the tax revenue of the village of Hastings-on-Hudson by more than $4 million.
The Edgemont Incorporation Committee has put together a website at Edgemont2019.org with meticulous research indicating that Edgemont’s tax base would be the largest of the seven villages in Greenburgh by a country mile.
If Mr. Cunningham’s point is that villages generally shouldn’t build police forces altogether, I think that’s a reasonable argument. While the EIC feasibility study provisioned for such a build-out, it was only to demonstrate that if need be, Edgemont couldgo it alone in the absence of shared services, even though that was never their first choice. Edgemont, which has never had its own police station, would have the ability to leverage existing infrastructure from other departments such as Greenburgh, the Westchester County Police, or a neighboring municipality through an Intermunicipal Agreement for police services, which are very common, well established and facilitated by state law. Furthermore, there is a consensus around support for such agreements, including Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, County Executive George Latimer and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Finally, Mr. Cunningham’s speculation regarding the motivations of the Edgemont Incorporation Committee is baseless, as the EIC leaders have publicly declared they will not run for office. Their goal is to have an election on the matter of incorporation, a right that I am pleased to see Mr. Cunningham supports.
Mount Joy Avenue