Press-Republican

Local News

February 27, 2013

Plattsburgh City Police is city's costliest department.

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The budget allows up to 51 officers but has only 42 at present. The starting salary is $36,728, with the highest at $57,216.

The department brought in a little more than $303,000 in revenue last year, mainly from fines, parking tickets and impound fees.

Officers work four eight-hour shifts, followed by two days off, he said.

The department has not seen any staffing increases in several years, Lizotte said, but has grown in other ways.

“We’ve had a lot of changes as far as specialties,” he said.

Among them is a Special Response Team and, soon, a K-9 unit.

“We have a lot of specialized training, so we are more qualified and efficient,” Lizotte said.

OGDENSBURG

The Ogdensburg Police Department 2012 budget was $3.3 million, also half the size of Plattsburgh’s, with revenue of about $450,000. 

The department includes 28 police officers. Salaries for 2012 range from $50,340 for the highest-paid officer to $38,722 for the lowest-paid officer.  

Police Chief Richard Polniak Jr. said the department has been about the same size for the past 10 years. At one point, it had 29 officers, but one position was eliminated five or six years ago.

A school resource officer later brought the number of officers to 29, but “that position ended last year in December,” Polniak said.

The Police Department covers the whole city, an area of about 8 square miles and population of 11,104 in 2011.

Operations include three eight-hour shifts each day, with five to six people per shift, including a sergeant, patrol officers and a dispatcher. 

Specialized assignments include detectives, a Dive Team, Bicycle Patrol, Arson Investigation Team and an Accident Investigation Team.

DEFENDS FOCUS

City of Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak says he believes the City Police Department budget is well spent and what the public wants. 

Instead, he has focused mostly on reducing the Fire Department budget.

“In difficult economic times, we need to prioritize how we spend tax dollars. The Fire Department budget and model are no longer affordable in its present form. Serious structure fires have been reduced due to much improved construction codes. The city has four very qualified volunteer companies on our borders, which we cannot utilize as needed due to union contract language.

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