The East Syracuse Village Board is moving forward with plans to put the fate of the police department in the hands of the voting community.
An informational meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, at St. Matthew’s School, and the board is expected to vote on whether to abolish the department following a public hearing on Oct. 1. The referendum, when voters will have the final say, is slated for Oct. 16.
The village of East Syracuse and the town of DeWitt have begun working on a shared-services agreement that would go into effect should village residents decide to do away with the department. That agreement, as it stands, would have the village’s six part-time officers be hired by the DeWitt Police Department — those officers would continue to patrol the village with which they’ve become so familiar.
On paper, the village would lose some coverage, as East Syracuse’s eight part-time officers and the chief of police position would be no more. However, we feel that the DeWitt Police Department would take the necessary steps to provide proper coverage to its new territory.
The agreement, which will go before the DeWitt Town Board during a special meeting at 3 p.m. Friday, has generated some controversy. Along with it, the town board must also agree to add the six full-time positions to its own staff — all of this contingent upon the referendum passing on Oct. 16.
We hope the two municipalities will come to an agreement on Friday so that the voters can have all the facts in front of them long before they make the important decision of whether or not to abolish the police department.
And it’s important that village residents come out on Sept. 19 to hear just what they’ll be voting on come Oct. 16.