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Eliminating the Coeymans Police Department

14 Jul

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A Reader Contributes A Well-Founded Proposal For
Eliminating  the Money-Pit Coeymans Police Department
to Save the Residents of the Town of Coeymans
At Least $2 Million A Year
 

Your Tax Dollars & the Coeymans Police Department
There’s a Better Way!

 The Author Advocates that the $2 Million Dollars Saved Could be Used to Develop Small Businesses, Parks and Recreation, and Historical Sites in the Area to Attract Residents, Businesses and Tourism. Not a Shabby Plan At All.

A Contribution by Laszlo Polyak, Ravena, New York

The blogger recently put out a poll about the Coeymans Police Department and asked whether you are for or against the dissolution of the police department based on the various complaints of police brutality, ineptness, unprofessionalism, lack of training, and violation of civil rights and abuse of citizens and residents.  And the blogger now sarcastically refers to them as the Coeymanazis, and giving some individuals personnel nicknames such as “Dirty Hands.”
 
I grew up in a township with county police only; no village or town police, only county and state police. Perhaps that is why 2 million people moved out of NY. A lot of southern states provide services such as fire, police, paramedics on a county level so people see the benefits and they feel the benefits in their wallets. How? You ask–they pay less taxes! 
 
I find it personally very difficult to write about this, since I have family and friends who carry badges and who range from small town police officers to federal investigators.  For example, I have a cousin who is now retired from the PDNY and also from the FDNY.  Yes, one person, two hats, so there are people out there who experience an event like 9/11 with a whole different meaning, and we can’t fathom what they are thinking when they have lost hundreds of comrades and friends. It’s a different level of experiencing the world, yet they manage to act responsibly and compassionately, respectfully.

But back to the nitty-gritty: I want to take a down-to-earth non-personal dollar-and-cents approach to the idea of dissolving the Coeymans police department.  In the past Mayor John Bruno perhaps said it best when he questioned: “What do I see for my tax dollars?”  And then, a few years later, the village of Ravena dissolved their police department.  Now as a community we financially have to look at what we’re getting for our tax dollars, and ask that and similar questions.  Do we really see our state tax dollars at work when we have an elite force like the New York State Police using their sophisticated and advanced training doing nothing other than handing out  thruway traffic violations?  Do we see our county tax dollars at work via the Albany County Sheriff department, or even through the County District Attorney’s office? You’re probably thinking to yourself, “NO!” But you’re paying for all of it…at least 4 times for the same services. Smart, eh? Why don’t you do that for a quart of milk, a shirt, a car? Because it’s stupid!
 
In extremely hard financial times where people are losing their homes to back taxes or simply because they don’t have a job or have one that pays crappola! Imagine losing your home for a few hundred dollars and then our taxes going up and up and up. This might be a good time to ask that burning question: “Did you see all the For Sale signs go up  after the shool budget vote?”  Do we want to keep or disolve our Coeymans Police Department based on financial cost versus the benefits versus the same services by the New York State Police or the Albany County Sheriff’s department, who would provide the same services but from local satellite offices (just like the New York State Police and the Greene County Sheriff has done in neighboring New Baltimore).
 
For more than 20 years I have looked at the annual budget of the town of coeymans. And I have seen the spending go up and up.  Some frustrating by unfunded mandates.  So let me break down what I estimate the entire cost of running the police department is today.  Out of a reported $5 million town budget, approximately $750,000 for police salaries alone. (Compare that with more than $41 million for the RCS central school district budget! The school budget is more than 8 times that of the entire Town of Coeymans!) At the time of this writing, I am still waiting for the Town of Coeymans to respond to a F.O.I.L. (Freedom of Information Law) request for the W-2s of Coeymans Police department personnel.  I was told it would take another two weeks.  So I can only guestimate at the dispatch salaries which could be as much as $450,000 including secretarial salaries, etc. [Editor’s Note: According to SeeThrough NY, the 19 employees at the Coeymans Police Department total a crushing $650,000 in salaries) Then you have the cost of the vehicles, the cost of maintaining the vehicles that run 24/7 (tires, tune ups, oil change, etc.), not to mention the gas and the mileage covering the township in the rural and farm areas.  Then there is the maintenance for radio equipment, ongoing training, retirement fund, health benefits, and routine court and law suits.  That adds up to $2.2 to $2.4 million dollars.  I stand corrected by a $100,000 or so since I am still waiting for actual receipts.  The point is this: About half of the town budget, at least, is going to support the Coeymans Police Department. Are we that crime-ridden, are we that much of a gang of hoodlums that we need to spend that much on law enforcement? Can we afford to maintain a police department for a mere 8,000 people?  Perhaps we should look into turning over the operations to the Albany County Sheriff’s Department or the New York State Police or both and invite them to use our present law enforcement installations and offices. 
 
And that’s what the Blogger is asking in the police poll, that’s the poll question: Would you support a referendum to eliminate the Coeymans Police Department? Would you support the ballot to turn over law enforcement to the professionals of the Albany County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police? Do you want to disolve it and turn it over or not??? For me I have a handful of honest issues. 

Always Professional & Constantly Training

One of the top of my list is that we train officers and then they go off to other police departments/agencies; Coeymans is simply not a major career goal. If the officer is good and has a future, after he or she gets some experience, they go elsewhere.  And we are constantly doing the training.  And this is where minor to major civil rights violations have occurred; because the Coeymans Police are either rejects from other departments or are in their training training phase, we are sued for their lack of training.  And police training is continuous. I has to be! This situation not only expensive, it’s frustrating because we can’t retain the good, civic-minded, competent, intelligent police officers.   And now the facts indicate that that even our elected officials have neglected the requirement for a policy and procedures on who reports to whom, and how citizens’ complaints, yours and mine, are handled.  The patrol man answers to the sargeant, who answers to the police chief, the chief answers to the elected officials in this case the Town Supervisor and the town board. But according to information received from the Town of Coeymans, no one seems to know anything concrete about who reports to whom and what the chain-of-command might be. The result: chaos! And lawsuits! And civil rights violations! And miscarriages of justice! You name it Coeymans has it!
 
Another issue is that we have reports that the Coeymans Police Department selectively takes complaints, that is, police department employees tend to decide whether or not you’re going to get law enforcement services when you ask for them.  And that to me is totally unprofessional and biased–it’s also unlawful. If this happens to you then you must request assistance from the New York State Police or the Albany County Sheriff’s Office (although one Sheriff’s department employee who is also a part-time Coeymans Police Officer–and married to chief Darlington’s sister, recently refused to take a harassment complaint from a local woman). And then, please file a complaint with the FBI!

If somebody came by and asked me to sign a petition to dissolve the Coeymans Police Department, I sadly admit, there would be no compelling reason not to sign it, and I would sign it.  I would rather deal with the New York State Police or the Albany County Sheriff’s Department.  It would be unlikely that we would experience the personal bias or “get even” mentality based on gossip that 90% of the time results in retaliation, intimidation, and coercion by the local police. 

Let’s Talk
Dollars & Cents

But more realistically to me I would be opting for a more efficient and productive use of my county and state tax dollars and looking at a potential savings of at least $2 million of our town tax dollars that could be better spent promoting small businesses, to development of our beautiful parks and our waterfront, to restoration of some of the beautiful historical sites in our midst. The $2 million dollars saved could be used to nurture pride in our town, and when you’re proud of your town, you’ll have a measurable increase in your own self-esteem, self-respect, and love for your neighbor. So when you look at it in dollars and cents, it makes sense very good sense to dissolve the Coeymans Police Department.  Not because one guy has “Dirty Hands,” or another guy harasses little old ladies, or because we personally have experienced civil rights violations or even profiling of one sort or another, or even if the Smalbany Blogger rightly or wrongly calls the Coeymans Police the Coeymansnazis. We also have to take a good hard look at the abuses and violations, real ones and potential ones, that come with the confusion and indifference we see in the Coeymans administration and the Coeymans Police Department. One example it the rubber-stamp approval of the Coeymans Police Department’s request for an increase in petty cash from $300 to $1000! There’s no way that $1000 can be considered “petty cash,” at least not according to all the accounting books I’ve read!

But, seriously, I think we should all provide our input on the poll because I’m curious about what the results of the poll would be, aren’t you?
 
These unfunded mandates are going to continue to go up and up and I doubt very much gasoline prices are going to go down.  So as a community we have to discuss this and if we do dissolve our inefficient, expensive Coeymans Police Department, then we must also make efforts to assist those persons who are left jobless with job placement elsewhere, perhaps somewhere in the community where they can really earn their keep. But to continue running the Coeymans Police Department we have to find justification in funding it, too.
 
We’re all in this mess together, so you have to really give some thought to “What’s your solution to a growing finaical burden?”

LASZLO POLYAK

Editor’s Epilog

Thank you, Mr Polyak, for a well-reasoned and well-written commentary on the present state of affairs of law enforcement in the Town of Coeymans. Your presentation is motivating and stimulates thought about the status quo and ignorance of the facts. Continuing the present situation is  like the reasoning of stopping your watch to save time, or complaining about fuel oil consumption and your fuel bill while still using the 75-year old converted coal boiler and not biting the bullet to install a fuel-efficient heating system. We’re all guilty at one time or another! But we need to make some  sensible decisions real soon or at least discuss alternatives in a constructive and sensible manner. Mr Polyak has provided us with a good start.

For those of our readers who have not yet visted the Coeymans Police Poll, you can click this link Coeymans Police Department to go to the article and participate in the poll. The poll is at the end of the article.

Finally, we invite any of our readers to submit a contribution for publication on this blog. You can choose a topic that is near and dear to your heart or you can pick up one that we’ve talked about on this blog. All contributions are subject to editing for content and appropriateness. Join this blog community and participate!

Special Notice: We make every effort to be truthful, complete, fair, and balanced on this blog; therefore, if you see anything that you know to be false or incorrect, or if you have additional information to clarify any issue, please let us know by e-mailing your information or by leaving a comment. It’s very important to us that we don’t fall into the same category as those whom this blog is intended to expose. Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation and assistance!
 

4 responses to “Eliminating the Coeymans Police Department

  1. Rosco

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    [This Comment has been edited for content and relevance. Rosco tends to ramble with all sorts of emotional flooding. It gets really boring. We’ve responded in the text of Rosco’s comment. The Editor]

    Your investigation skills are outstanding because you have narrowed me right down, but unfortunately I do not work for the Coeymans Police Department. Although, I will sit here and defend any law enforcement agency within the United States of America.
    I didn’t show my face at the board meeting because it’s people …that show “their” faces at board meetings and voice their opinions and unfortunately people thrive on negative and never want to hear the positive….well maybe upgrading our parks and historic sites with some sort of beautification committee is positive and then we can let crime run ramped [Editor’s Note: I believe s/he means “rampant”. Obviously an RCS “graduate”.] through our town and destroy the new parks and historic sites and no police to protect them. [Editor: That’s not necessarily a valid conclusion, but please go on, Rosco.]

    In my mornings[,] while I get ready for work I commonly watch the news and I remember last year (2011) it seemed so many law enforcement officers in the United States were getting killed in the line of duty. [Editor: Could stupidity have something to do with it? Maybe lack of training? A mob of cops recently wounded at least 9 innocent bystanders when they tried to subdue ONE shooter in NYC. The COPS shot the BYSTANDERS, not the shooter!!!! What does that tell you, Rosco?] So, I performed a Google search as follows: “Why are so many police officers getting killed in the line of duty.” [Editor’s Note: That’s a very unsophisticated search but Hey! we’re dealing with Rosco! But you gotta do what you gotta do, even if it is a bit 3rd grade.] Well, wouldn’t you know that The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released a study and the statistics show that is was from the reduction of staffing, layoffs, and training cuts (something that you propose). [Editor’s Note: Like, Rosco, did you come down with the last shower? What do you expect the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund to report?!? Something negative to their agenda, maybe?]

    The reason I express my concerns is that because I have family in law enforcement [Editor: OK. Now I see where this is coming from and where it’s going! It’s called bias where I come from.] and I know the difficulties they face. [Edited for content and relevance.] How can you sit there and bash the Chief of Police? [Editor: Because he’s, Duh!, an idiot!] Where are your morals? [Editor: My morals and ethics are obviously at a much higher level than yours or your law enforcement protegés. I hope that answers your question, Rosco.] [Edited for content and relevance.]

    For anyone reading this post do you remember watching “Dragnet” growing up? The main actor was police Sergeant Jack Webb. Jack Webb was never really a police sergeant, but preformed [Editor: I believe Rosco is trying to spell “performed”.] as one very well. [Edited for content and relevance.] In one of his shows on “Dragnet” he gave a speech to a cadet in the police academy [redacted] [redacted] Jack simply put it like this “they call you everything, but never a policeman.” Although some may think that the speech is corny or ridiculous but Jack spoke the truth. [Editor’s Note: Truth is, his most memorable words were oft repeated: “Just the facts, M’am.” You should live by that one, Rosco.] These police officers not only in the Town of Coeymans, but all over America work their butts off. They miss holidays with their families, weekends, and birthdays and get little respect. [Editor’s Note: So do laborers, factrory workers, busdrivers, taxidrivers, PriceChopper employees, physicians, nurses, priests/ministers/rabbis, any number of people do and most don’t get the pay or the benefits that your law enforcement thugs do at public expense! So what’s your point, Rosco?]

    Is it worth getting rid of a police department to save some money? [Editor: YES! YES! YES!] I’m sure if he/she had some issues with the war in Afghanistan they wouldn’t hesitate to show their anger towards the service men and women of our nation. [Editor: I don’t call the Coeymans police, I call either the Sheriff’s department or the State Police and I have gotten very fine responses from both within reasonable times. So don’t go there, Rosco. Most of the community doesn’t trust the Coeymans p.d. and rightly so. Take your bleeding ignorant pontifications and shove them where the sun don’t shine. You don’t know what you’re talking about.]

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    • RCS Confidential

      September 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      Rosco’s comment was rambling, abusive, and in part irrelevant; we approved it in edited form and included our responses in the text of Rosco’s comment.

      Rosco is obviously a charter-member of the Coeymanazi gang and a stauch biased supporter of Law Enforcement Bullyism Inc. Rosco has obviously and conspicuously no common sense or sense of economy but is richly endowed with arrogance and ignorance, his few saving graces.

      The Editor.

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  2. Rosco

    September 14, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Ignorance: The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed

    Before I continue any further please observe the definition listed above of “Ignorance.” Whoever the author is of this post is truly an ignorant person.

    I feel that I needed to take the time and read this belligerent post that an individual like you has the most needless time on your hands to bash an outstanding law enforcement agency. First of all I will defend an officer that you identified as “part-time.” Here’s some news for you…the part-time officer does the same work as a “full-time” officer and is held at the same standard and is put in harm’s way as a “full-time” officer. Have some respect for all officers who serve throughout the United States.

    You mention the police budget. Let me ask you a question because obviously you’re very ignorant. Have you ever heard of inflation? When the rise of inflation occurs then hence the cost of a police budget will most likely go up….dah. Police equipment, training, etc..

    The Coeymans Police Department handles a very high volume of calls of all various types and they are a highly active department. They cover well over seventy square miles in their jurisdiction. At certain times the department may only have two officers on to cover their entire jurisdiction (due to budget cuts). They are one of the loosest paid departments in Albany County and deserve more for what they do.

    As I got towards the bottom and I was highly agitated from such ignorance. You mention that the town can spend money on parks and beatification? Are you that stupid? Does crime go away? All that law enforcement is doing is putting a big Band-Aid on a huge problem and you want to build parks instead of protecting your property and yourself? Seriously?

    One more thing that I found highly comical…You suggest that the town can use the State Police and the Sheriffs to provide coverage? Have you done your research? Let me throw a scenario at you…Lets say the Sheriff’s office has two cars assigned to the over seventy miles of the town and all of a sudden there is a serious situation in Preston Hollow on the West end of the county..Officers are calling for back-up and need more cars. What do you think will happen to any Sheriff or State Police car in the general vicinity of the Town of Coeymans? THEY ARE GOING TO PRESTON HOLLOW!!!! AND YOU WILL NOT HAVE A POLICE OFFICER IN SIGHT FOR THE NEXT TWO HOURS OR MORE.

    I have said enough and I’m sure sense you are entirely too ignorant to understand what I just wrote that I wasted my time.

    By the way “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” I wanted to let you know that truly enjoyed exercising my first amendment right of the United States Constitution

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    • RCS Confidential

      September 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

      Thank you, Rosco, for your comment and your opinions.

      Seems odd to me that some loudmouth apparently transmitting from Ramona California should take an interest in the Coeymanazis. I would have thought it more appropriate if the dumbass Gregory Darlington, the so-called police chief, would have taken the opportunity to educate the community on what his department does. But we locals all know what it does; Darlington is the only one in the dark, it seems. That idiot was sitting there grinning trying to figure out how to articulate a complete sentence, it seems.

      The other Coeymanazi star big-mouth, Darlington’s darling Gerald “Dirty-Hands Jerry” too busy being ignorant and stupid in the back of the room, chatting away and giggling stupidly. He’s good at doing his Coeymanazi thing in front of the board of education where he stands as proof of failing schools (just listen to him), which might explain why he wasn’t taking the podium to explain what exactly it is that should redeem the Coeymans police gang of thugs.

      I find it very odd that neither of them defended their golden goose.

      Too bad you weren’t as brave and mouthy when it came to appearing at the Coeymans town board meeting where you could have made your points for the record. You see, it’s loud mouth cowards like you who sit back, let someone else talk, take the flack, and then you rats come out of your holes with all sorts of shithouse wisdom. Did you stand up before the community and state your opinion where you had a face? No! Of course not. I gather you’re probably on the Coeymans police gang and one of them. Why? Because the town of Coeymans doesn’t share the information you had with its residents and citizens unless they’re forced to do so. You are a member of the Coeymans police mob because you have exposed yourself with your volatility and your one-sidedness. You put the uppercase “C” in Coeymanazi.

      I did like your definition of ignorance, though. Was that from personal experience?

      We look forward to hearing from you again, “Rosco.”

      The Editor

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