The Village of East Syracuse Board of Trustees voted Monday night to abolish its police department and be absorbed by the DeWitt Police Department. Voters in East Syracuse will decide if this becomes a reality during a referendum vote on October 16.
Some neighbors are concerned with losing the personal connection they have with the current police force. "I trust our department," said East Syracuse homeowner Tracy Eves. "I trust the guys that we have working for us. I know 100% that they have this community's safety on their minds first and foremost all day, every day, on a personal level."
The Village of East Syracuse says DeWitt's police force will be able to provide them with additional services, including detectives and a crime lab. All six East Syracuse officers will be transferred over to the DeWitt force, but the eight part-time officers will be let go.
The Village says it has cut spending ten percent over the last five years, and having its police department absorbed by the Dewitt Police Department will save roughly $750,000 within the first year.
If voters decide to keep the Village's police force, it will mean cuts. "People have to know what's coming," said East Syracuse Mayor Danny Liedka. "Major scaleback is going to occur, and the programs they're enjoying now are not going to be there."
But other neighbors at the meeting stressed that you can't put a price on knowing your local police officers, and hope the department won't be dissolved.