Monday, August 17, 2009


This past week, Gov Paterson whipped out the VETO stamp and killed a few Bills that made it to his desk. Ordinarily, the thought of denying anything in the way of spending from the NY Senate is a good thing. But in this case I have to disagree.

Eleven of the bills that were killed, would have extended peace officer status to several new groups working across the state, including animal-abuse investigators, animal-control officers, and court attendants in municipalities across New York.
[The latest class of graduates in NYC pictured above]

There has been a serious increase in requests to confer peace-officer within many jurisdictions. Peace officers have many of the same powers as police officers: (depending on the town) such as warrantless arrests, using physical force during arrests and issuing appearance tickets, but with less training and lesser salary.
[would the workman's comp be worth it?]

We don't have peace officers here in Kingston, Ulster County or any other local counties that I am a aware of and in some cases, the laws prohibit the use of Peace Officers. That is "peace officers" who act as just that and not as an extension of another official job.

The days of the town constable are long gone, but the duties of a corrections or probation officer as well as forest ranger can lend themselves to that title. Often with salaries higher than the average police officer.

The Governor thinks the training for Peace Officers is lacking in New York and has since unfunded any new applications to the program for those communities that do. Both the Assembly and Senate passed the increased funding.

The only way to increase or police protection locally, would be through the use of part-time officers, but of course that would have to survive the contract negotiations that municipalities like Kingston go through every three years. The PBA would have to want to offer the option for the subject to even be addressed.

Mind you, it is a far cry from the recent push for Guardian Angels here in Kingston. That plea from a few groups in midtown-west wasnt fully embraced by the Administration. The possible havok that a group of empowered civilians would bring to the police department would present more of a burden and place the city at such a lawsuit risk, that the benefits wouldnt be worth the trouble.

But Part time Officer's might be the answer.

Now where would we get the money?


Anonymous said...

A more accuarate statement would be to say that we do not have Peace officers in Ulster County that work in the capacity of police on a Town Level, more commonly referred to as Constables.

We do in fact have a great many Peace Officers in Ulster County in other capcities. For a full listing your readers can refer to section 2.10 of NYS Criminal Procedural Law,

The more common ones are Correction Officers (state and most county), Park rangers, Forrest Rangers (I think they now have police powers). And there are also Peace Officers that are not certified to carry a firearm as part of their employment. These include Fire Police, NY DMV investigators, etc.

I don't know exactly who they were trying to add to section 2.10, but if you read it you will notice that in many cases these are communities that have their chosen employees added to the list for one reason or another. (eg, East Hoboville Dog Catcher). That might be the reason for the veto.

Anonymous said...

The short period of time where the midtown residents really wanted to recruit the Angels was pretty much ignited by some scary events in the area and the Public Access rhetoric that focused on just the doom & gloom in a select neighborhood.
Webb saw the opportunity to"Take Back our Streets" back then, but since his passing, the communal fires have gone out. Even Walker dismisses the idea of bringing the Guardian Angels.
I don't know how much any parttime police officers can help in a city where I fail to see action from the officers we have.
I want to see where part time officers have made a positive impact on the quality of life in other towns first.

Anonymous said...

Arent the DEC officials capable of arresting people? They have a HQ right here in midtown. I suppose they have their hands full, keeping the fresh water estuaries free of polluters, but couldn't they issue a ticket or subdue someone if they see a crime? C'mon bring em in the fold.

Joe Bubel said...

We don't need any more agencies enforcing traffic code. It is already absurd to see a DEC cop writing a ticket on rte 28, now you want the Animal Police to do the same? And of course, if your cat or dog isn't buckled up, or in their cages, you will be ticketed for endangering the welfare of a feline or canine.