BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
UPDATE — The Village of Airmont failed to pass Bracco’s resolution. The vote was 2-2 with one abstention. Thus, the Village of Airmont will not, at this time, officially “make a novel move to investigate separating itself” from Ramapo PD as anticipated.
Trustees and proponents can and will continue to investigate the matter on their own, regardless of the status of the resolution. Read more on www.rocklandtimes.com or the Rockland County Times weekly print edition on Thursday, April 24.
The Village of Airmont is making a novel move to investigate separating itself from the Town of Ramapo Police Department, potentially contracting instead with the Village of Suffern.
Currently it is not legal according to state law for a village to contract with another village’s police department, so a new state law would have to be passed for it to become possible. Also, it is possible Airmont and Suffern could charter their own two-village police force, although there is no indication that the villages are interested in this maneuver.
At least three of the five village trustees at this time believe the move to separate from Ramapo PD would likely save the village money. Airmont Trustee Ralph Bracco said he believes Airmont could save as much as $1 million if the move was made.
Bracco said, “I think we could save a lot of money going with a contract, just like we do with our Highway. We are only getting one police car each shift. I have no problem with the Ramapo Police, but the deal could be better, we are paying $4.3 million per year for one police car per shift.”
Bracco and two other trustees brought the matter to the attention of Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe and Senator David Carlucci. Senator Carlucci’s office told the Rockland County Times they are looking into the matter and he will meet with all concerned parties before making a decision where he stands on the legislation.
Bracco is realistic in his hopes. He said, “They may not do it, the police are very powerful too — but if Cuomo wants what he’s saying (consolidation), if government can save money, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?”
Bracco continued, “I want to do basically research, that’s my job as a trustee, to see what’s good, what’s bad. From my thinking as a businessman, it can be a very positive thing.”