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East Syracuse residents vote today on proposal to abolish police force

East Syracuse residents will head to the polls today to vote on the village board's proposal to eliminate the police department. Those in favor of keeping the police force have posted signs throughout the village.

East Syracuse residents will head to the polls today to vote on the village board's proposal to eliminate the police department. Those in favor of keeping the police force have posted signs throughout the village. Photo by Ned Campbell.

— In East Syracuse, Election Day comes a few weeks early this year.

Village residents will vote on whether to abolish the police department, founded in 1885, during a special election from noon to 9 p.m. today at the municipal building, 204 N. Center St.

The East Syracuse Village Board voted to abolish the police force, pending the results of today's election, following a public hearing Oct. 1.

The move would save village taxpayers $249 per property assessed at $100,000 annually, according to a study by the Onondaga County Comptroller’s Office. Village police coverage would be taken over by the Town of DeWitt Police Department, which has agreed to hire the village’s six full-time officers and add a post to the village should voters approve the proposal. East Syracuse would pay DeWitt $400,000 a year to do so under a shared-services contract.

The village’s eight part-time police officers, clerk and police chief would lose their jobs.

Mayor Danny Liedka says the village’s tax base can no longer sustain the police department; residents in favor of keeping it say the taxpayer savings aren’t worth losing a police department that’s committed to the village and knows it well.

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