Shared services study suggests major changes to Town of Montgomery police department
A newly released shared services study in the Town of Montgomery suggests major changes to its town and village police departments.
The study was performed by Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress and commissioned by the town and its three villages of Maybrook, Montgomery and Walden. It made several recommendations, one of them – dissolving the town police department altogether.
According to the report, the town’s population of roughly 30,000 residents would be best served by dissolving the department or, at a minimum, reducing the number of full-time town officers to transition to either a partial or fully part-time staff.
Town of Montgomery Police Chief John Hank says the study is “flawed” at best.
“The Police Shared Services and Efficiency Study fails to consider, or even list as an option, consolidating the village police departments into the Town of Montgomery Police Department,” says Hank. “The study emphasizes the transition to a more part-time, or all part-time police force. However, we have found that relying on part-time employees for police coverage is unreliable and inefficient. Consequently, the town increased our full-time staffing so that we are able to provide the highest level of service to our residents.”
The town also has police departments in each of its three villages, a state police barrack and is serviced by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, which the study noted.
It also recommended creating a townwide shared communications center, a shared mental health, addiction and domestic violence response team.
News 12 reached out to Town of Montgomery Supervisor Ronald Feller for comment but hasn’t heard back.
Hank says other shared services studies have consistently supported the town police department taking over policing in one or all the villages.
“This would be the most intuitive, sensible, and cost-efficient approach to providing residents with police services. The current study’s failure to list consolidation as an option shows it has no credibility,” Hank says.
Click here for the full report.