First of three sessions held tonight
They said they would listen and that's exactly what the Cicero Police Study Committee members did during its first of three public listening sessions held at 7 p.m. June 8.
Tonight's session ran a few minutes past 7:30 p.m. with six of the nine committee members present to hear feedback and take notes.
The committee, which has been meeting for more than eight closed meetings, hosted more than 25 people at the Cicero Fire Department, Route 11 and Route 31. Two Cicero Town Board councilors attended, along with Cicero Supervisor Judy Boyke.
As reported in last week's Star-Review, neither Cicero Police Chief Joseph Snell nor members of the police department were in attendance to avoid having any influence on public comment.
Committee Chairman John Winters, of Bridgeport, told the crowd of residents that these sessions are primarily being held to add to the information they have compiled and to complete a full report for the Aug. 25 Cicero Town Board meeting.
Don Snyder, committee member, handed out numbers to all residents wishing to speak within a three-minute time slot. About 12 residents chose to speak during tonight's session. No discussion or rebuttal was allowed after any comments made, according to the committee's ground rules reported by the Star-Review last week.
It would appear the majority of residents were in favor of keeping the Cicero Police Department.
Kicking off public comment was well-known Cicero resident Ed Zalusky who has lived in the town for 54 years.
"I've never had any qualms with the police department," Zalusky said. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Like more residents commented after him, Zalusky said he is unsure if the town of Clay has had any savings since its merger with the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department more than one year ago. He said he has appreciated CPD services such as residence checks when he is out of town, e-policing and regular community patrol.