Christopher J. Sweeney
Michael S. Butler
Glen E. Bartlett
Charles J. Hanney
Paul S. Lizner
Jennifer A. Bentley
Rev. Joseph J. D'Angelo
Serious issues in the villages of Muttontown and Upper Brookville. Residents should be aware that Mayor Julianne Beckermann and Mayor Terry Thielen are considering withdrawal from their current contracts (which expire May 31st, 2011) with the Old Brookville Police Department. Click on the village to learn more.
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Dear Village of Muttontown Resident,
I am writing you to inform you of a very serious issue in the Village of Muttontown. It has been brought to my attention that many village residents are still unaware that Mayor Julianne Beckerman is seriously considering withdrawing the village from its current protection contract with the Old Brookville Police Department and is thoroughly exploring the idea of creating a Muttontown Police Department.
In the Mayor’s most recent correspondence dated March 8, 2011 the Mayor makes it abundantly clear that this is not a reflection of our police service. It would appear that the Old Brookville Police Department is simply being used as a political football in an attempt by the Mayor to exert more control over the other six villages that participate in the police protection agreement.
The most important function of any village, county, state or federal government is to insure the safety of its citizens. Your police department has been doing that with integrity and professionalism
under the present system for 62 years.
Although the Mayor believes that Village Law may authorize the formation of a police department by a simple Resolution of the Board of Trustees, I would hope that the Mayor would put a matter of this magnitude to a public referendum so that all the residents could have their voices heard. I believe that the safety of your family and your homes should not be held in the hands of some village officials, but in the hands of the residents of Muttontown.
The men and women of your Old Brookville Police Department offer the most personal and professional service available on Long Island and
do so at a rate substantially lower than any other police service and yet the Mayor and her Board are threatening these public servants with lay-offs.
I have attached some factual data that I hope you will review. You have one of the most professional, well trained, and service oriented police departments in New York State and the current village administration wants to change that in order to solve a political issue. The Mayor has called for a second meeting on March 22, 2011 regarding this issue. On behalf of the men and women of the Old Brookville Police Department and this association, I ask that you please try to attend this meeting or contact the Mayor to express your support to keep your Old Brookville Police Department. I thank you for your continued support.
- During the last four fiscal years and with the projected 2011-2012 tentative budget,
the savings to the Village of Muttontown by having the Old Brookville Police as opposed to the Nassau County Police Department has been approximately
$1.5 million dollars.
- The annual tax rate in the 2011-2012 proposed budget for the Old Brookville Police is
13% lower than the rate charged by the Nassau County Police Department.
- The proposed tax rate increase for the typical Village of Muttontown household (home assessed at $1.9 million) would amount to approximately $300 dollars per year
($25 a month) for superior police service. (Refer to the attached mapping of residential burglaries in Nassau County for a reflection of that professional police service.)
- The Old Brookville Police Department through stringent fiduciary oversight by its current administration has produced budget surpluses over the last few years. In addition, the Department has held or reduced all discretionary spending items in their last three fiscal year budget proposals. The increases contained in the current proposed budget reflect mandates that are either contractual or mandated by New York State.
- A resident of Muttontown pays the exact same tax rate for police service as a resident of any of the other six incorporated villages that we serve (Brookville, Old Brookville, Upper Brookville, Matinecock, Mill Neck, and Cove Neck). The Mayor’s recent letter may lead some Muttontown residents to believe they are paying more than their fair share.
- The Village of Muttontown’s contribution does equate to 26.4% of the proposed budget, however, what the Mayor fails to note is that
Muttontown accounts for 29% of the population within the Old Brookville Police Department jurisdiction.
On the Formation of a Muttontown Police Department
- Mayor Beckerman proposed a “Muttontown Police Department”. Mayor Beckerman stated that she could have the Department up and running in three months.
- The United States Department of Justice published a guide to starting a new police department. The guide states the following, “It will be time-consuming. The planning and transition phases alone can easily take a year.”
- The hiring of police personnel is an arduous process which takes well in excess of three months. The selection of police officers is one of the most important tasks in operating a police department and should never be rushed. Hiring a single police officer at the Old Brookville Police Department can sometimes take a full year to select a suitable candidate.
- The Mill Neck, Cove Neck, and Laurel Hollow Police Departments are indicative of these types of smaller police departments being dissolved.
- According to the Police Registry of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, there have been no successful attempts to form a “new” police department in New York State since the failed attempt of the Village of Woodsburgh in 1984.
- The Village of Mineola attempted to form their own police department. After an extensive, time-consuming and costly study was conducted, the residents of Mineola soundly defeated the proposal by a 2:1 margin in a referendum.
Mayor Beckerman stated that she would hire “city cops”, which would make the process of starting a police department quicker.
- All police officers hired in Nassau County must be certified from a list maintained by the Nassau County Department of Civil Service. You cannot just hire “city cops”, unless they are at the top of the civil service list.
Mayor Beckerman stated the first year cost of the start-up police department would be an estimated $2.85 million dollars.
- This is an apparent arbitrary number which was not backed up by any budget or cost analysis.