EIC's Research:

EIC volunteers believe incorporation is the right choice for Edgemont, and these discussions are the results of our research and analysis. We encourage you to read our analyses of the issues, conduct your own research, contribute to the conversation, and make your own decision. See links below for Terms of Use.

New York State Town Law and Attorney General Guidance

According to New York Town Law 150:  

All towns in New York that maintain police departments are required to provide police services to all unincorporated areas as well as to all incorporated villages without police departments of their own

In 1995, the New York State Attorney General confirmed that towns may not offer such police services selectively:

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. 

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 establish its own force).

Further, 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.

Finally, Edgemont residents pay approximately 10% of our property tax bill to Westchester County, which has a Department of Public Safety with over 200 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.  

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 our research to date, we believe that these options not only viable, but also neutral-to-favorable with respect to budget and service levels.

Please see the relevant section in the financial feasibility report (linked here) for more detail on costs and service levels. 

As a Village, would the Village be entitled to “enhanced” police services as a Village?  

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 200 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 County at http://publicsafety.westchestergov.com/shared-services-sp-139.

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.

The County maintains a station in the village that displays a local identity

The County maintains a station in the village that displays a local identity

Does Westchester County’s Department of Public Safety provide any direct patrol services to local governments?

The County police 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, measureable 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?  Why would Greenburgh want to contract with Edgemont?

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. 

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 consider negotiating with Edgemont for police services.

However, we cannot predict with certainty whether Greenburgh would be willing to enter into an acceptable IMA for police services with the Village of Edgemont.