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With Overtime Costs Too Pricey, Nyack Police Beat Will Change

To make up for three injured officers, Nyack-centric policeman to be redeployed

When an alleged drunk driver , authorities were able to force the man off the road and make an arrest—but not before several of the truck's tires exploded, sending seven officers to with non-life-threatening injuries.

Three of the injured officers are still recovering and out of the line of duty, a pricey dilemma—Orangetown has been paying between $5,000 and $7,000 in overtime each week to keep the injured officers' beats covered. So far this year, $155,000 has been spent in overtime payments for Nyack coverage alone, police said.

But now, with costs adding up in an already sluggish economy, the (OPD) is redeploying certain officers to eliminate expensive overtime—and Nyack is shouldering the aftermath.

The OPD is set to reassign Neil O'Donnell, the department's only Nyack-centric officer. O'Donnell played a role in a earlier this year; he will still be active in Nyack, although not as often as before. "He will not be there all the time," said Kevin Nulty, Orangetown's chief of police.

Nulty said the redeployment does not mean a reduction in force for Nyack, and will be solved as soon as the three injured officers are back on their feet. As for when this will be, however, Nulty said he is not sure.

"At any given point we have eight officers on patrol across Orangetown, plus a patrol sergeant" Nulty added, explaining how the OPD's 87-man force is utilized. "Two are always assigned to Nyack, and on weekend nights we have up to seven or eight in Nyack's 'entertainment district.'"

The "entertainment district" is OPD's phrase for the village's downtown, which has recently housed a , and a .

High price tags are no new problem for Orangetown Police—since 2009, the department has reduced its staff by three officers to make ends meet. "It's been attrition over the past two years," Nulty said. "It's understandable, with the suffering economy."

Still, the decision to have less coverage in Nyack—if only for a short period of time–is one that has local officials upset.

"It's a really big problem for Nyack," said Jen Laid-White, the Nyack trustee who serves as the village's liaison to Orangetown Police.

"This would be terrible for Nyack," added Richard Kavesh, the village's mayor. "It's really second-rate treatment."

Nyack disbanded its own police force in the 90s and opted for town coverage in order to save money; neighboring villages that pay for their own police forces, like and , see heightened property taxes and engorged budgets as a result. Currently, Nyack pays $2,100,000 each year to Orangetown for access to its police force—75 percent of Nyack's annual tax bill to the town. 

The thought of a lessened police force is not a comforting idea for Nyack residents, either. Patch reached out to its readers on the subject and heard an overwhelming sentiment of concern.

"There is way too much activity in Nyack to scale back anything," wrote one reader on Patch's Facebook page. "Pure stupidity." Others noted the village could house more violent crime as a results, and perhaps needs its own department again.

James F. Leiner September 09, 2011 at 06:18 PM
"Currently, Nyack pays $2,100,000 each year to Orangetown for access to its police force—75 percent of Nyack's annual tax bill to the town." One can only begin to wonder if the decision to disband the Nyack Police Department was a good one? Seems to me the Democrats of today should begin to second guess the Democrats of 1990.
Ken McQuade September 09, 2011 at 07:18 PM
Bring Back 381
Jerry September 09, 2011 at 08:11 PM
You think in the NYC that when a cop goes down in Brooklyn Heights, they lessen coverage in Brownsville? There should be ONE county police force. Resources could be deployed more effectively. Looking at news video of the Rye playland "muslim riot" it looked almost clownish. Seemed to be about 1/2 dozen different police forces, dressed differently, standing around looking confused. I've never been a cop, but come out of the military, and I can't see how ground formations can be quickly adjusted in these fluid situations with 6 or so different forces. We need one large coverage area force. It may not be cheaper but we will get more the money.
Layla September 09, 2011 at 11:49 PM
Too bad they are cutting him back the drug dealers he busted are still sitting in RC jail- busted previously but no trial yet for the same crime at the same location (stupid) Why aren't these criminals sent to prison?
Judy Martin September 10, 2011 at 11:41 AM
87 policemen, but only 8 on the streets at a time seems to indicate an off-the-street priority. What is it? To put 8 on the streets 24/7 with 40 hour work weeks requires 33.6 policemen.before considering vacations, sick leave, etc. But that's less than half the 87. What are the other 53.4 doing?
Neila Smith-Dorfman September 10, 2011 at 02:41 PM
I do not understand the mentality of village officials- eliminate Nyack's police, but open more bars in town. As one of the candidates for mayor said recently, "nothing good happens between 2 and 4 a.m." Most of the crime and bad behavior in Nyack's "entertainment district" (what a euphemism!) happens between 2 and 4, but the village government can't change the bar closing time to 2 am. It would require a county initiative- Duh!
James F. Leiner September 10, 2011 at 02:50 PM
Judy is correct in her thinking. Nyack PD would have 4 cops on duty. 3 shifts of 4 men covering a day and 1 shift off duty. With 16 men on patrol of a mile square village. In addition the other 5 men were the chief, Lt, a dective and a "swing" man who came in 4 to 12 during the busy evening hours. Sounds like OT is TOP Heavy.
Lance Dugby September 12, 2011 at 01:55 AM
NO COP ABOVE THE RANK OF PATROLMAN SHOULD GET OVERTIME. The bosses should be required to work longer with no added pay. Just like I did and just like a lot of people in Management do. JIM LEINER did you get overtime in your management position with O & R? If not why do we give it to the police bosses? When 75% of your entire budget is for cops it is time that all Towns look toward alternate forms of policing.
Jerry September 12, 2011 at 06:40 PM
As I indicated earlier, I am scratching my head on the type of budget, and or governmental inefficiency that has us arrived at situations like this. But, more importantly I hope the injured officers recover soon. Thank you for the service you do provide
DLS September 13, 2011 at 07:48 PM
Get down to the village meetings, and the Orangetown meetings, and make your demands known. Also, there is no need for officers to sit inside OPD and answer phones. They can train civilians to take calls, triage emergencies, etc. There needs to be a new way of thinking with budget demands and craziness abound. However, we need cops on the streets and in our downtowns, especially where crime exists. Take 'em off the streets and crime will increase. This is plain insanity.

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