East Syracuse holds off on plan that would fold police force into DeWitt

The East Syracuse Village Board put off, once again, a decision on the future of the police department Monday evening. The meeting also revealed a plan for a complete takeover of the Village police force by the DeWitt police department.

The Village board originally proposed shutting down the department entirely and forcing DeWitt police to immediately absorb all police calls. The plan would save taxpayers $3.19 for every $1,000 taxed, but would eliminate all its police officers. The officers would be placed on a civil service list, potentially to be hired by other area departments.

DeWitt Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko then proposed a different plan on behalf of the town. Michalenko recommended a five-year shared service agreement, which would save taxpayers $2.00 for every $1,000 taxed and would keep East Syracuse's five full-time officers.

"The municipal services agreement is one that we advocate for in this particular situation because it allows us and the village to plan the transition from policing," said Michalenko. "It allows you to maintain your same police force."

The East Syracuse village board then decided to halt voting on abolishment. "I don't think doing an abolishment without the contract would be beneficial to the town, to the village, to the police force, [or] the residents it ultimately protects," said East Syracuse Mayor Robert Tackman.

The board will be revisiting the proposal and planning to vote at its next meeting on March 3rd at 6 p.m.

In October 2012, East Syracuse's Board of Trustees voted to abolish the police department. Residents voted down the referendum a few weeks later.