(WHITE PLAINS, NY) At a time where there are calls for increased security nationwide, Public Safety & Social Services Committee Chairman Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains) asked the Department of Public Safety to appear before the Committee today to continue its discussion of the impact of several police officer vacancies and the need to fill them immediately.  The Astorino Administration replied saying no one would be coming to discuss the matter with the legislators.

“Clearly, the administration does not find the issue of public safety important enough to send representation to discuss police vacancies and basic safety concerns with the committee tasked with oversight of the Department,” stated Legislator Boykin. “The approved budget for the 2016 fiscal year calls for three vacant officer positions to be filled. We are headed into the 7th month of the year, when County Parks are full of people, and these officers have not been hired, and our parks are not adequately patrolled.”

Westchester County PBA President Mike Hagan was on hand to discuss some of the concerns that members of the union have expressed to him. To add to the concerns about understaffing, Mr. Hagan said the Department is facing 12 vacant officer positions with recent and pending retirements.  He said the Department currently lacks the resources to perform basic preventative police practices, from safety patrols of our parks and roads to operations to combat the rising heroin epidemic.

“Operating without the proper number of officers is a dangerous proposition for both the officers who are on duty and for the public at large. The officers who are on duty are stretched thin to the point where they must abandon one post to cover a basic call elsewhere. At a time when security should be paramount, the County Executive seems to want to put it on the backburner,” concluded Boykin.