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CLARKSTOWN OFFICALS AND PBA TO CUT $2.75M FROM 2017 POLICE BUDGET

BY CAROL MCILMURRAY

CLARKSTOWN- After two months of publicly clashing over police oversight and personnel issues, the local Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and Clarkstown Town Council have agreed to cut $2.75M from the $49.3M police budget for 2017.

Supervisor Hoehmann announced the cuts will come from retiring between 10 to 15 police officers; hiring new police officers at lower salaries; and changing how overtime is scheduled, among other changes.

The agreement came minutes before the Bonadio group presented their 39-page financial review of the $49.3M police budget, in which the financial group estimated a possible savings of $5.4M.

Clarkstown PBA President Ray Laschet said the savings were important during these tough financial times and emphasized that the savings would not affect public safety or services.
Acting Police Chief Mahon, members of the police department, local PBA and Clarkstown government made the agreement in $2.75M savings in several closed door meetings before the announcement on Tuesday.

Police Chief Sullivan, who was suspended in July, sat in the audience with a few dozen supporters. Sullivan has publicly clashed with the Town Council over the hiring of Bonadio group and was not apart of the $2.75M savings agreement.
Sullivan met with the Journal News earlier this week and in an 90-minute interview said any alteration to the budget made in Bonadio Report would alter public safety and services in a negative way.

The cuts amount to 5 percent of the $49.3 police budget. Clarkstown is the state’s largest town police force and consists of 163 full-time officers and 24 full-time civilian employees.

Hoehmann said it was possible for more savings in the Clarkstown police budget and more cuts could be put in place in coming years.

Public comment on the Bonadio Report is open for the upcoming October Town Council meeting.

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