Airmont deadlocked on police resolution; no move to divorce Ramapo PD at this time

The Village of Airmont is deadlocked on a resolution that seeks to empower the village to investigate the possibility of leaving the Ramapo Police Department and pursue the option of contracting with the Village of Suffern Police Department.

Proponent of the plan Trustee Ralph Bracco said he believed the village could save up to $1 million in such a move. Other proponents have claimed up to $2 million in savings.

Bracco told the Rockland County Times last week that believed he had three votes in support of a resolution to look into the matter further, but at this week’s village board meeting he came up a vote short. Trustee Philip Gigante abstained, claiming he did not have enough information to make a vote at this time.

Currently state law does not allow a Rockland village to contract with another village’s police department. The resolution would have allowed the village to officially enter talks with state lawmakers about whether such a change was possible.

Specifically, the state would need to amend the notorious Rockland County Police Act of 1930, allowing Airmont to investigate other options aside from contracting with Ramapo PD or forming their own police force. The resolution as proposed by Bracco would have encouraged allowed state lawmakers to pursue drafting new legislation to amend the act.

According to the Internet magazine Ramapo Times, Trustee Gigante rationalized his vote by stating he was in a no-win situation. The Ramapo Times reported that the trustee said a ‘yes’ vote amounted to saying “I hate the Ramapo Police Department,” while a no vote amounted to saying, “I don’t want to save the taxpayers’ money.”

Trustees Ralph Bracco and Dennis Cohen voted yes on the resolution while trustee and Deputy Mayor Anthony Valenti and Mayor Veronica Boesch voted no, Ramapo Times reported.