Executive Fiala Unveils Police Consolidation Proposal

BINGHAMTON, NY - Broome County Executive Barbara J. Fiala and Deputy County Executive Patrick Brennan outlined a proposal for an urban police force at a news conference Tuesday, August 8th. The plan calls for the creation of a combined police force that would form a new department within the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.

In addition to the Sheriff’s Highway Patrol unit and New York State Police, there are currently 5 independent police departments operating within Broome County; Binghamton, Endicott, Johnson City, Vestal and Port Dickinson. Deposit Police operate in both Broome and Delaware Counties.

The plan developed by Deputy County Executive Patrick Brennan calls for an urban police force made up of those 5 independent departments. The Highway Patrol unit and New York State Police would continue to cover the rural communities in the same way they operate presently.

“This would be a five year transition period that would be accomplished by individual municipalities entering into inter-municipal agreements with Broome County,” said Deputy County Executive Patrick Brennan. “Our goal with this study was to maintain public safety while trying to reduce the costs of operation for all tax payers in the urban center.”

The plan calls for maintaining the same number of officers on the road while reducing the number of supervisors. That reduction would be accomplished through retirement, not layoffs. The plan takes into account that approximately 12 % of those officers eligible to retire will actually retire. When they retire many of these positions would be eliminated. Brennan estimated the maximum costs savings associated with his plan to be $7.7 million dollars over the five year period. It would depend on the number of supervisory officers that actually retire.

“Our goal in pursuing this plan is to begin a dialogue with municipalities about consolidation and ways to operate more efficiently and hopefully reduce costs,” said County Executive Fiala. “We do our citizens a disservice by doing nothing. We realize there is a lot of work that has to be done before consolidation of police departments can begin but we have presented a starting point for negotiations. We hope the discussion does not end here.”

Fiala says Deputy County Executive Patrick Brennan is in the process of creating a committee to study this consolidation plan. The committee will be made up of municipal leaders, legislators, police chiefs and union representatives. View the police consolidation plan.