MALONE — Residents concerned about police coverage if the Village of Malone dissolves have a definitive answer about future protection from the State Police.
“There would be no added patrols,” said Major Richard Smith, commander of Troop B headquarter of the State Police at Ray Brook.
If dissolution is approved by referendum vote Tuesday, it would eliminate the Village Police Department and leave the question of police protection up to the Malone Town Council. Councilors can either create a townwide police force, seek state permission to create a police district or leave it to the troopers to handle.
NOT ENOUGH TO COVER
But Smith told the Press-Republican that his staff wouldn’t be able to adequately cover their existing territory and the former village.
Calls would have to be prioritized more carefully, which would sometimes lead to slower response times in the former village than residents are used to, he said, and that doesn’t improve police protection in the community.
Smith said that because of the size of the patrol territory, slim staffing and other investigative responsibilities, State Police aren’t able give extra services to a community like a village department can, such as being an escort for night-banking transactions or being available at school activities.
“Those are services we don’t have the ability to provide,” Smith said of his troopers.
He said the State Police force was not created to serve areas with concentrated population but rather residents in more rural parts of a community where there is no constabulary.
“We’d like to respond, but we aren’t going to be able to give the people the kind of experience they get with the Village Police Department,” Smith said.
NEW BORDER INITIATIVE
Right now, 22 troopers are assigned to Malone, and two recent academy graduates will be brought in soon.