During the budget hearings I asked department heads to provide members of the Town Board with a list of possible cuts. Chief Kapica followed up on the request and submitted the following statement. If his department is cut by 5% there will be a savings of $750,000. The tax increase would go from 23% to 21% if all of the following cuts are made.
As per your request, I have re-examined the Police Department's budget in an attempt to find other non-essential areas where cuts can be made. Even though you previously informed me that you would prefer not to cut programs, I am assuming that your new posture on this makes everything fair game and obviously, I would prefer to eliminate programs rather than diminish our ability to respond to calls from the public or investigate crimes. The elimination of our Drug Abuse, Resistance Education Program (D.A.R.E.) would result in a savings of $10,090. If you intend to do this, you will need to advise me very soon as the schools will need to find an alternative curriculum to address the drug and alcohol issue in next year's school year and we will need to advise Ardsley that we cannot assist them with their DARE program. The elimination of the Summer Youth Camp will save about $32,050 and elimination of all other Community Affairs Programs ( 3 on 3 basketball; our Police Explorer Post and the Youth Court) will realize $7,430 more in savings for a total of $49,570. I think we would need to refund a contribution made by Pat Lanza that was specifically for the Youth Camp in the amount of $5,000, which would reduce these savings to $44,570. All these programs continue to be well attended and have been enormously successful. I have also done some preliminary calculations as to the impact of a 5% budget cut on the Police Department. Essentially, such a reduction, which would approximately result in a savings of $750,000, would require laying off 14 police officers. In order to somewhat mitigate the devastating effect this would have on the department would require the following action; 1) Reduction of the number of patrol sectors in town from 7 to 6. This would increase response times but help offset the loss of 6 positions; 2) Eliminate all community policing and housing posts. This would offset the loss of 7 positions but obviously have an adverse impact in Fairview and Hartsdale; 3) Eliminate one position in the department's training unit, which would affect our ability to train personnel. While this reorganization would help offset the loss to the Patrol function, it would provide no backup resources to address filling the positions of officers lost to long-term disabilities (presently there are four), child birth, attendance at school, etc. Realistically, to further mitigate this would result in the loss of one traffic officer and several detectives who would need to be returned to the status of police officer and assigned to patrol. This would obviously affect our ability to investigate crimes. Under this scenario, our ability to provide services would be seriously reduced. I have not projected 10% or 15% cuts because it would be impossible for us to function with any effectiveness under either of these scenarios. IN CLOSING, I WISH TO EXPRESS MY STRONG OBJECTION TO ANY CUTS IN POLICE DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL. WE ARE BARELY ABLE TO KEEP PACE WITH THE DEMAND FOR SERVICES WITH THE PEOPLE WE HAVE. TO REDUCE PERSONNEL LEVELS WILL ENDANGER THE PUBLIC AS WELL AS THE POLICE OFFICERS WHO SERVE THEM WHILE SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASING RESPONSE TIMES AND RESULT IN CUTS IN OTHER POLICE DEPARTMENT SERVICES THAT PEOPLE IN GREENBURGH HAVE BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO AND DESERVE. Chief Kapica