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Orangetown Board Approves Three New Police Officer Candidates

The Orangetown Board approved the nomination of three candidates to be officers in the Orangetown Police Department Wednesday.

Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty presented three candidates to fill open positions for officers in the Orangetown Police Department at Wednesday's meeting.

The board voted to approve the nominations of Michael L. Taylor of Pearl River, John A.Helm of Upper Grandview and Amaury R. Lopez of Pearl River to the OPD. Taylor and Lopez were approved with 4-0 votes, with Councilman Tom Morr absent. The vote was 3-0 with Councilman Paul Valentine abstaining on Helm.

Their names will now go back to the Rockland County Department of Personnel. Nominees must go through a physical agility test, psychological test, FBI fingerprinting and a medical exam.

"Once they are certified, their names will be passed back to us so the town board can appoint them permanently," Nulty said. 

Taylor, Helm and Lopez all made the list of candidates for consideration when they took the county police exam in 2008. 

"We called candidates for initial interviews this summer," Nulty said. "We looked at their resumes and grades and figured we were interested in these three."

Orangetown has not hired any police officers in three years, but the board has decided to include hiring three officers as part of the preliminary 2013 budget. These would be replacements for officers who retired in 2012. 

Supervisor Andy Stewart questioned if he should vote on the matter after opposing the hiring of the additional officers.

"I voted against budgeting to hire the three officers," Stewart said. "I will stick by that, but I want to recommend the work the police department has done. I'm sure these candiates are fine, fine people who will be tremendous assets to the department."

"I've been in that position," Councilman Denis Troy said. "I voted against a position, but not the person. I see a distinction between the two. I would advise you not to vote against the person."

Stewart followed that advice and joined in the yes votes on all three.

Check back with Patch for more from Wednesday's meeting, including further discussion of the 2013 budget. There was a public hearing Wednesday, but it was continued to Nov. 13 due to the inclement weather making it difficult for taxpayers to make it to Orangetown Town Hall.  

Tom Diviny November 10, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Mike: I was elected in 2009. Orangetown had 90 police officers at that time. We now have 80. With less officers we are trying to do more with less. Police programs have been cut. Since I have been on the Board, School Resource Officers, Taffic Enforcement Patrol and SEU programs have eleminated. Chief Nulty advised the Board if we go down to 77-78 officers we will have to look to cutting posts, meaning less officers will be patroling and the areas they patrol will be larger. It is not that crime will increase per se. What worries me is the potential increase in response time to emergencies as the officers will be covering larger areas. Another factor in the hiring right now is that the Police Academy begins in January and is offered only once a year. Two of the candidates selected need to go into the academy for training. So we put them in now or wait until next year. FYI, the 2010 Police Study recommends that we staff the police with 90 officers. Mike, you do have some excellent points and I will meet with you at your convenience. Councilman Diviny
Jennifer November 11, 2012 at 05:59 PM
The town states they have no money for new police officers, but yet they hired 3 new officers who have NO POLICE EXPERIENCE. As you state 1 officer will be ready in April (the one from the sheriffs office) and the other 2 (who have no police experience at all) will not be ready until the fall of 2013. We need police officers now, not in the fall. So let me try to understand this...These men will need to go to the police academy which the town has to pay for..and while in the academy they will getting a salary...and while these men are in the academy the town will be spending lots of money on OVERTIME. So why didn't the town hired men with police experience instead. You can't tell me that they were the only people on the list. I guess you don't need to have experience you need to know someone with ties to the town.
Mike November 11, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Thank you again Councilman Diviny for your thoughtful reply. I think we all have the same ultimate goal but the discussion is around the strategy and tactics on how best to get there. Again, my main point here is transparency of data or informtion so that we can collectively feel confident that the tactics will truly get us to the goal. Lastly, I think we all need to have realistic expectations. We are not going to resolve the Town's fiscal crisis in one budget cycle. It will take several years and yes, there will be pain. But, it is critical that all in the Town- citizens and employees share as equally as possible. Not only is this the right thing to do, it will bring greter cooperation and a sense of "WE" can do it. I believe there are so many smart, intelligent and good people in this Town with perhaps innovative ideas and solutions. I wonder if there is a way to solicit their ideas in a non-political forum to harness potential solutions? Thanks again.
Mike November 11, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Jennifer- your comment goes directly to what I was speaking about- more openness and transparency.
mary jane November 13, 2012 at 06:54 PM
because it is his son-in-law

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