LocalSYR

East Syracuse considering eliminating village police department once again

The Village of East Syracuse Police Department is once again facing the possibility of abolishment.
East Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – The Village of East Syracuse Police Department is once again facing the possibility of abolishment.

The Village Board this week took a key first step by scheduling a public hearing on the matter for Jan. 6.

The village budget is growing increasingly tight and board members last year gave the public a chance to decide if they wanted to continue to fund the police department or eliminate it and contract with the Town of DeWitt Police Department.

In October 2012 – by a convincing margin – residents voted to keep the police department. But just over a year later, with the budget even tighter and taxes rising, the issue has resurfaced.

This week, action moved from chatter around the village to official action with the setting of a public hearing by a 3-2 vote.

The swing on the board was Mayor Bob Tackman – who changed his mind on the matter.

“From working on the budget, I see no other alternative for making inroads or reducing the tax rate,” Tackman said. “Always said that if it came to this point, that I would support putting the matter out for the people to decide.”

The board still has to adopt a local law that would allow for a second referendum, that could come at the Jan. 6 meeting.

A public vote would be possible as quickly as 10 days later, but Jan. 21 is being considered as a tentative date.

The village would also need to determine whether they would contract with the Town of DeWitt for police services, if the town agrees to offer those services.

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