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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.  

LesDoIt November 08, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Why did Valentine abstain from voting on one of these appointments?
Terry November 08, 2012 at 07:33 PM
What a joke. So let me get this straight. No one knows how many police are actually on the force. They are the only dept that doesn't have to cut their budget , yet all along they lied and said they were cutting their budget because 2 or 3 cops possibly, maybe , might be retiring. Oh yes that's right no new cars this year. Boo hoo. Yet your going to raise my taxes because spending is out of control and we have to settle because the unions will always win. Yet you had a chance to make a statement by not hiring and your going to say you had no choice. Please don't insult me by saying we need it for public safety. Don't.
Randy November 09, 2012 at 01:39 AM
As you probably already know, the town board and the supervisor are not serious about controlling spending and staying within the tax cap. One only has to look at their proposals to cut to see they are not really serious at all. Reducing conference spending for the legal department is proposed. Why are we paying for anyone in any town department to go to a conference? This is not a necessity in "austere" times. Also, they want to restrict taking town vehicles home for employees who don't live in the town. Why don't we sell all the town vehicles that employees take home. Let them drive their own cars and get reimbursed for mileage like the rest of the world does. Then there was the proposal to close Broadacres by the supervisor but to keep all of the employees and find something else for them to do. I'll bet that proposal would cost more than keeping the course open, hence, the decision to do just that. This board and the supervisor have no intention of controlling spending and staying within Governor Cuomo's tax cap. Time to vote them out!
Mike November 09, 2012 at 01:44 AM
So when election time comes again, each one up for reelection should be shown the door.
Sick-n-Tired November 09, 2012 at 06:30 PM
At least hire the guys who are going to be laid off by the Sheriffs Department. Save some money on training costs
Josie Public November 10, 2012 at 12:37 PM
It's very sad that you people have no idea what goes on outside of your houses. Orangetown needs more cops to deal with all the crap that goes on in all the towns on the weekends. When the hurricane hit no one in Orangetown was manning the out lights or helping with traffic flow, meanwhile Clarkstown had their guys come in and help with traffic in major intersections...NOT ORANGETOWN....I think the supervisors over there should stop and take a look at what goes on outside of their own little bubbles. Orangetown Police dont only patrol Pearl River and Blauvelt etc....there are other towns that need more patrolmen and the way the administration and the board are well...all I can say is that its embarrassing! Put some money where its needed,these cops put their all into doing what they can with what they are given and compared to other departments its not much. They should stop treating their guys like "workers" they are supposed to be brothers beginning with the administration....
Tom Diviny November 10, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Terry: In response to your question, the Town of Orangetown has 80 police officers patrolling the town right now. When I was elected we had 90 officers, we are down 10 cops since 2009. That is a fact, it is not a lie. I can provide you with backup material on this if you desire. We will have 2-3 retirements in 2013. If we go down to 77-78 officers, it means less cars on the street and longer response times when there is an emergency. Yes, the cops do respond to emergencies and have oxygen tanks and heart defibrillators in the police cars which they are trained to use. Again, this is fact, not a lie. We did hire three new officers, one from the sheriff's department, a correction officer and a Con-Ed worker who served in the military. The hire from the sheriff's department will be on the roads around April. The two other hires will go to the Rockland County Police Academy and will not hit the roads by themselves until Ocotober. The Board did have choice. We could have allowed the police force to go below 80 officers, cut police posts and the number of cars on the street and increased response times in times of emergency. The other choice was to hire three officers so that staffing levels remain the same. I voted to hire new officers and I believe it was right decision. Terry, if you have any questions or wish to sit down with myself and the Chief you can call me at my office 845 201-8090. Orangetown Town Board Memeber Tom Diviny
LesDoIt November 10, 2012 at 04:04 PM
I know our local officials review this post, yet my question as to why Valentine abstained from voting on one of the hires remains unanswered. Well I found the answer. One of the hires is his son in law. While being family of a Town Board member should not preclude you from being hired, it should be made clear. Some Town Board members like to characterize our local police as greedy it seems their is plenty to go around when they want to hire family and promote friends
Mike November 10, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Mr. Diviny- thanks for providing a bit more clarity and transparency for the rationale employed in hiring 3 more POs. However, these stats are being provided without context and as far as I am concerned with a tone of hysteria. You make it sound that without these 3 additional hires, the crime rate will increase and injured or sick people will not get emergency care. I don't know when you were elected so the drop in force of 10 is hard for me to evaluate, but I don't believe we have seen crime rates go up in the Town recently? Can you provide us with response times on emergency calls....one would expect that to increase. I believe a much more rationale and open approach with stats in context should be provided. For example, where does the Town stand in terms of POs lets say compared to total population or square mileage vs other Towns. Are we above, below or about he same. With these facts and information, then i think we can make better decisions that balance the needs for PD services and the reality of economics. Can this type of information be provided on Town website or be discussed more openly at future meetings? Thanks.
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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