Last month, the Orangetown Council passed a resolution threatening to pull Orangetown Police Officers from the Rockland County Narcotics Task Force and Intelligence Unit.
The council wanted a contract from the county ensuring reimbursement for the officers' work with the two units or the officers would be removed from all but cases involving Orangetown as of April 15.
Tuesday night, the Rockland County Legislature voted to fund the county's Narcotics Task Force for 2012, but the funding for the intelligence unit is still unsettled for this year.
Thursday night at the Orangetown Council meeting, Supervisor Andy Stewart offered up a resolution to be put on the agenda for April 26 meeting accepting the contract with the county to reimburse the town $169,674 for one officer to participate in the Narcotics Task Force.
"The number is correct," Stewart said. "We would be almost fully reimbursed. We are at about 90 percent. It seems acceptable to everybody.
"We wanted a contract for full reimbursement for the narcotics and we got this. We're happy about that."
The county had agreed to pay the town back fully for officers in both units in past years, but the funding for 2012 has been in question. The resolution to keep accept the contract for the Narcotics Task Force will be on next week's agenda and is expected to pass.
Of more concern is the future of the intelligence unit. Orangetown is already only participating in cases involving the town. Stewart offered another resolution pulling the officer until a contract is in place, but it was deemed unnecessary during discussion.
The latest deal being discussed would reimburse the towns approximately $120,000 per officer. The police chiefs in the county have discussed downsizing the unit to raise the amount per officer.
Even at partial reimbursement, Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty wants to keep his officer in the intelligence unit.
"I do not have any confidence you will get full reimbursement," Nulty said. "Crime goes on. We need this. It seems crazy not to participate because we get a lot of benefit from it.
"These units have been vital. I support that we have an officer up there. If we get a partial reimbursement, we take it."
Nulty said that many of the services the intelligence unit provides are things the Orangetown Police Department cannot provide for itself.
Town Attorney John Edwards spoke of the importance of getting a contract in place as soon as possible.
"The problem we face is over the years the town provided the service in expectation the county will send the contract, but they county won't pay without the contract," Edwards said. "Historically, they sent the contract a year late, but we had good reason to expect the contract was coming.
"Now the County Executive is telling people not to send anything. You are providing a service and they are a quarter behind. The money has not been appropriated. They sent the contract for narcotics. That's all well and good. But they haven't done that with the Intel unit."
The matter will likely be discussed further at the monthly police commission, which will precede the regular town board meeting and begin at 6 p.m.
The board will likely also discuss the retirements of three members of the Orangetown Police Department -- Sergeant Henry Reynolds, Officer Clifton Bullock and Officer Susan Lanoce.
"Clearly we need to discuss hiring in the police department," Stewart said. "Under the current conditions, it is regrettable that the town finds out that police officer who have served for 25 years or so are retiring a day or a week before their last day.
"Whatever the conditions are that contribute to that lack of notice, I hope we can address it in some way. It takes many months to find a replacement police officer, to get them trained and hired. We need a little more of a heads up than a week or so."
Check back with Patch for more from Thursday’s workshop.