WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – In an effort to save money on police services for both local and county government, Westchester County legislators approved a bill to let the county provide full police services to municipalities.
Currently, county police can provide only supplemental and special services or necessary aid to local police forces. The new law, when signed by County Executive Rob Astorino, will remove that provision and allow county police to take over all duties of a local police department.
The bill was sponsored by Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), who signed the first police shared services agreement with the county as Ossining town supervisor in 2010.
“Giving our municipalities the opportunity to obtain their entire police operations from the county makes sense in so many ways,” said Borgia, chair of the Board of Legislators’ Government Operations Committee. “With future strains on municipal budgets in mind, options for shared services like police operations should be available.”
Under the county’s agreement with Ossining for shared police services, all 15 members of the local department became county officers. With the new law, agreements for shared police services would be increased from four years to five, and would require the approval of the Board of Legislators and the local governing body.
County police will continue to provide special services to any municipality that requests it.