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Those vehicles could be crucial

June 28, 2012

As President of the New York State Troopers PBA, which represents more than 6,000 active and retired members, I read with interest the June 12 article, “Homeland security vehicles on hold.”

The economic conditions over the past couple of years have caused significant belt-tightening in all areas of public employment, including public safety at the state and county levels. This environment necessitates cooperation between departments, which in turn improves both public and officer safety. Deputies rely on troopers and local police departments for backup and vice versa.

With this in mind, I believe that the Sullivan County Legislature’s failure to allow the sheriff to properly equip his deputies puts us all in danger. There also appears to be a basic lack of understanding regarding law enforcement and the equipment necessary to perform public safety duties. Equipment such as ATVs, although not used every day, are essential in certain cases, from searching for lost persons including hunters, children and people suffering from dementia, to policing large gatherings at Bethel Woods and patrolling Homeland Security infrastructure.

I commend Sheriff Michael Schiff for an innovative approach to a budget crunch, as he has found a way to purchase equipment that otherwise would not be available. To imply that future maintenance costs of these ATVs should be the litmus test to accept or reject the federal funding is, in my eyes, ludicrous. I am well aware of the tax overhead within Sullivan County, as I am a lifelong Sullivan County resident, whose family has been living here for nine generations.

The bottom line is that, as a county resident and PBA President, I am in favor of any item that could increase the safety of my neighbors as well as my members.

Thomas H. Mungeer
President, NYS Troopers PBA
Liberty, NY

vehicles for Sheriffs dept

I whole heartedly agree with Thomas H. Mungeer. This is a time when we should be seeking grant monies and using this to our advantage, not accepting those funds puts the county at great risk to not be awarded funding in the future.

Also the safety factor... Mr. Mungeer makes a valid point, once in the winter while hiking, I fell through ice that was snow covered by about 6" and my leg was buried past the knee, I wasn't sure at first if I'd broken my leg, turns out I was fine and my dog actually came to my rescue to help me out, but had my leg been broken, I would have needed help and this kind of vehicle would have certainly been needed in the location I was hiking!

Law enforcement needs tools just like a mechanic needs tools...

Tom, Everyone understands

Tom,

Everyone understands that safety is top priority, but at what cost. The bottom line is we can't afford it. Right now the sheriffs have half a dozen horses, atvs, a gator, a corvette, a hummer, and 2 armored cars. And maintenance??? There are 8 cop cars piled up like cord wood in barryville and 2 more in maplewood. To your concern of bethel woods: Bethel woods is a not-for profit and through the IDA pays taxes at a reduced rate. If I am having a concert at my house do I get security guards from the sheriff dept?? nope. Then why should Bethel woods. If they need added security then tell them to hire some, its as simple as that.

When Dan Hogue was in how many sheriffs were on patrol?? Why do we need constables, state police, AND sheriffs?? I think the question here do even need the sheriff department at all??