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Nyackers Petition to Maintain Downtown Police Beat

Orangetown Police are cutting down on Neil O'Donnell's time in Nyack, and merchants aren't happy

Recently, economic turbulence and a handful of injured officers have forced the to —and local merchants aren't happy.

Neil O'Donnell, the department's only Nyack-centric officer, is being redeployed to cover for officers injured in , according to Kevin Nulty, Orangetown's chief of police. The redeployment means less time spent patroling Nyack during the morning and afternoon hours.

Nulty says the redeployment will have a minimal, if any, effect on the village—but Nyack officials have called the decision "terrible" and "second-rate treatment."

(Read about Orangetown Police Department's coverage tactics and details .)

O'Donnell's decreased presence was a catalyst for a petition started up by Patti Aagard of . "As citizens, merchants and residents of the Village of Nyack, the undersigned have personally witnessed or
experienced the importance of having a consistent and dependable police presence in the Village by day," the petition reads. "Criminal activity does not restrict itself to night. Drug-dealing, theft, underage [drinking] at bars, loitering, vandalism, etc. have, no doubt, been thwarted by a police officer walking the beat."

The statement continues: "Downtown Nyack has more than its share of transients and vagrants who wander the streets looking for trouble—some more dangerous than others. Officer O’Donnell is known to all, and as such, has a pre-emptive effect on this threat which compromises the safety and quality of life for merchants, residents and visitors everyday."

The petition asks interested parties to pen their name, address and date, add their signature and return the document to Reality Bites or ."Please pass along," the petition's header readers; Richard Kavesh, Nyack's mayor, has already signed.

To view a copy of the petition, check the gallery to the right of this story.

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