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Five Questions With... Police Chief Joseph DeCarlo

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Greenburgh Police Chief Joseph DeCarlo has been a member of the department since August 1977. Since becoming chief in 2009, the life-long Westchester resident has taken strides to solve problems and keep the town safe.

The Daily Greenburgh : What are some unexpected skills that residents don't know the police department has?

Chief DeCarlo : I believe we're the only police department in New York State that is the primary emergency medical service department. We're police officers and civilian paramedics. They provide the emergency medical services and advanced life support to the unincorporated area of the town and the village. That's pretty unique. We have six emergency medical technicians, eight paramedics and nine civilian paramedics. They really provide those special skills. You don't see that anywhere else, really, in the state.

The Daily Greenburgh : How can people keep themselves safe in Greenburgh? Are there any crime patterns people should know about?

Chief DeCarlo : Greenburgh is relatively safe. Although it has lessened, the crime that affects people most is burglaries. It's certainly something that touches people. It's very upsetting that somebody has entered your home. But we have a crime prevention officer who has done numerous surveys. What helps is having a little bit of caution. Having alarms. Neighbors have to watch out for each other, maybe with a Neighborhood Watch program. People have to be aware of their surroundings, regardless of where they are. A new scheme is that people put cameras near ATMs and try to see your password. When I started in the department, stolen cars were big, but that's gone down a lot.

The Daily Greenburgh : What is the number one problem that the department is dealing with?

Chief DeCarlo : Other than drugs – as marijuana and heroin and certainly becoming a prevalent concern of ours – the number one crime is Internet crime. It's hard for police to investigate, but it's certainly a prevalent crime. We get a lot of reported incidents of people having their identity stolen. People get your name, and then you get a bill from Bloomingdale's that you have to pay although you've never been there. We see a lot of that.

The Daily Greenburgh: What's your favorite part of the job?

Chief DeCarlo : I like talking and dealing with people. It can be frustrating sometimes, but I always like being a problem-solver. That's a big part of my job today, especially with the economy. People have problems and, usually, the first person that gets a phone call is the police department. A good part of our work isn't criminally related. It's the other part.

The Daily Greenburgh : What's something about the Greenburgh Police Department that people don't know?

Chief DeCarlo : We're a very dedicated group. It's hard to make people understand that. We always do a little bit more than we have to, and that is shown in our productivity. I think that's the component that gives us a little extra credit.

Who would you like to see interviewed for The Daily Greenburgh's next installment of "Five Questions With"?

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