Police consolidation discussed in Cicero

Deputy Supervisor Zambrano mentions subject during Feb. 24 meeting

A routine agenda item caused great concern during the Feb. 24 Cicero Town Board meeting.

Cicero Police Chief Joseph F. Snell had a request for proposal on the agenda so the department could send out bids for two new patrol vehicles.

The item was approved with a 4-1 vote and the bids will be sent out. However, Cicero Deputy Supervisor Jessica Zambrano was opposed because of her concern of town spending, she said.

Zambrano said the item was discussed during the Feb. 23 pre-agenda workshop and brewed some concerns on the budget, which prompted her thoughts of consolidation. Snell said the topic of consolidation was first brought to his attention during the Feb. 24 town board meeting.

In particular, Zambrano said the purchase of the vehicles could be very costly to the town, even though it was budgeted by the previous administration. Zambrano said she wanted to see more justification and inventory details regarding the vehicle purchases after attending the pre-agenda workshop.

"Yes it is a budgeted item," Zambrano said. "But do we have money for paying taxes back to the county?"

Even though it was a budgeted item, Snell said he knew that "there have been a lot of budget concerns and the new town board is sensitive to spending." With this in mind, he said he anticipated some questions in regard to the vehicle purchases.

However, Snell said he was "surprised" to hear the mention of consolidation during a discussion of an RFP for a budgeted item.

At the town board meeting held Feb. 24, Zambrano mentioned that consolidation of the Cicero Police Department could be on the next ballot.

"When we were campaigning, consolidating the police department came up quite a bit," Zambrano said. "We owe it to the community to keep our campaign promise and look into the issue."

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