GREENBURGH, N.Y. – The Greenburgh Police Department has eliminated one position and will eliminate another as part of the 2012 proposed town budget.
Greenburgh Police Chief Joseph DeCarlo said Tuesday that the police department cut one police officer in March, whose salary was $75,000 plus benefits. The department will also cut a dispatcher's position, which pays $54,000 annually plus benefits.
"There's always room for cuts," DeCarlo said. "And certainly if you want to seriously cut services, you could make more cuts. But we pretty much run a pretty tight operation and provide services that the town residents are demanding."
The discussion of the police department staffing took place during the first of a series of focused budget meetings in which town board members heard from department heads. It was open to the public but few residents attended
The dispatcher position is currently held by a civilian, whose duties will be transferred to a police officer. Currently, four of seven officers out on disability are able to come back for light duty, said DeCarlo, and one of them will most likely fill the dispatcher's position.
The department plans to look into consolidating dispatcher's positions with the villages for times when the dispatch is not particularly busy, DeCarlo said.
Two years ago, the force had 122 officers; now they have 115. If forced to make more cuts, Chief DeCarlo said that community police officers would be the next to go.
After a Tarrytown school crossing guard retired, the guard was not replaced, saving $10,000 annually. While the position might still be replaced, the short-lived absence saves the town money.
"If somebody retires and we don't replace them right away, that's an easy way for us to save money throughout a year," said DeCarlo. "But this past year was the most unusual. Only one person retired. That's unheard of. We usually have six or seven people that retire each year."