EIC Police Q&A
Would the Village of Edgemont have police coverage upon incorporation?
Yes. Town Law 150 clearly states that a town must provide police services to a village that does not have its own police force. The Village of Edgemont would receive police services from the Town of Greenburgh for as long as necessary (assuming the Village does not provide for one itself, either directly or via contract).
The legislative intent behind this statutory framework is clear... if a town maintains a police department, it is required to provide law enforcement services throughout the town, including any village which does not have its own police department.
What options would Edgemont have for police services?
The Village could explore a number of potential models for the delivery of police services including intermunicipal/cooperative arrangements with the Town, County, and/or neighboring municipalities, a dedicated village force, or some combination thereof. Based on expert research undertaken to date, the $6 million cost in the EIC's financial projections will offer Edgemont high service levels under multiple options.
As a Village, would Edgemont be entitled to “enhanced” police services?
The incorporated Village would remain a part of Greenburgh, just like the six existing villages. As a village within the Town, Edgemont would be entitled to Greenburgh police SWAT operations.
Also, Edgemont residents pay approximately 10% of our property tax bill to Westchester County, which has a Department of Public Safety with over 250 officers. The County provides its residents with a number of high-level specialized services, including 911 dispatch, a special response team, K-9 units, bomb squad, and aviation.
Please read more about the Westchester County police services here.
In addition, Westchester County and all of its towns, cities, and villages are parties to a Mutual Aid and Rapid Response Plan ("MARRP") under which they receive (and agree to provide) assistance and cooperation to: “provide the uninterrupted delivery of police service during those situations that exceed the resources of any individual department.” The municipalities in Edgemont’s “zone” are the six Greenburgh villages, the Town of Greenburgh, the Town/Village of Scarsdale, the City of White Plains, and the City of Yonkers.
The Village of Edgemont mayor and trustees logically would also enter into the above-discussed County MARRP agreement (or would otherwise remain a beneficiary via the Town) to be eligible for mutual aid and coverage from the nearby municipalities in Edgemont’s zone, many of which are large units of government with sophisticated services and equipment.
Does Westchester County’s Department of Public Safety provide any direct patrol services to local governments?
The County's police force historically has focused on parks, parkways, and specialized services, but has recently entered into local patrol contracts with the Town of Cortlandt and the Town/Village of Mt. Kisco.
The EIC has closely studied the service levels and costs written into the County's police contract with Mt. Kisco. Of particular interest was the “Schedule A” (see page 20 of PDF) which sets forth very specific, measurable service level requirements including dedicated, around-the-clock village patrols (which Edgemont does not currently enjoy as an unincorporated neighborhood of Greenburgh).
How would the Village of Edgemont document its police arrangement if it were to contract with another government?
Arrangements between local governments, such as the Mt. Kisco/Westchester County police agreement discussed above, are typically documented via inter-municipal agreements (“IMAs”). Like any contract, they are subject to negotiation as to mutually acceptable service levels and prices. IMAs are common in New York and elsewhere and are in fact encouraged by New York State legislation.
How much would an IMA cost?
The cost of any IMA (for police or for any other service) cannot be determined pre-incorporation because it will be negotiated by the Village of Edgemont once it exists. However, the Mt. Kisco police contract with the County is instructive as it provides for the service levels that the EIC's consulting team believes would be extremely high for Edgemont. Mt. Kisco's population is 50% larger than Edgemont's and the cost for the County to deliver the service was $6 million in 2017.
Why would Greenburgh want to contract with Edgemont?
Because the Town of Greenburgh has significant fixed costs embedded in its police department, continuing to service to Edgemont as a village on a contractual basis would, we believe, be attractive to and motivate Greenburgh to negotiate. However, we cannot predict with certainty whether Greenburgh will be willing to enter into an acceptable IMA for police services with the Village of Edgemont.