Police plan to be presented

Roger LeClaire will be at the next meeting of the Whitehall Village Board.

The Washington County sheriff will be giving a formal presentation to the board concerning the issue of community policing on Monday, June 15, as the village continues to look at the future of the village police department.

“He will be at the meeting to talk about what they can do,” said Mayor Francis “Fra Putorti. “People will be able to attend the meeting and hear what the county could do in terms of a sub-station in Whitehall or if we should keep a village police force.”

At its June 1 meeting, the board received communication from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department concerning three options that could possible replace the current village force.

The three options included “coverage of every shift that the village has currently” for an annual cost of $350,000; all coverage that the village has currently except no dedicated A-line coverage Sunday night through Wednesday night” for $230,000; or a very stripped down coverage proposal” for $161,000.

In each case, the county would be looking for a three-year service contract and a sub-station in the village, preferably in the downtown area.

Putorti said the current budget for the Whitehall Village Police Department was $393,268.96.

“Even if it is a small savings, it is a savings of around $40,000 for the best service plan,” said Putorti.

LeClaire said that the original proposals were overviews of what he felt the county could do for the village.

“If they decide that they need more information, we will go and talk with them,” said LeClaire.

Putorti said he hopes that the village can decide on a proposal to place before the voters as a referendum at the June 15 meeting.

“I am not going to be the one who says yes or no on this, and neither is the board,” said Putorti. “This should be up to the voters. Personally, I would like to see it, but if the voters do not want it, then they will have the chance to say so.”

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