Local police, lawmakers oppose countywide police force

"I know it's a different issue here, as to why they want to consolidate, but ... consolidating police departments wouldn't fix the problems that the Schenectady City Police Department are having, so if you're consolidating in order to try and repair the Schenectady City Police Department, as most of the politicians have come out and said, that's not the fix," said Pitlovaney.

Besides the fact that the Town of Niskayuna is pleased with their police force, Niskayuna Town Supervisor Joe Landry spoke about logistical problems of consolidating police forces.

"We have great service here in Niskayuna. The residents really appreciate what their police force does and they pay for that through their tax dollars. If you were to consolidate and form a countywide police department, the concerns would be, where are most of the police forces going to be working? Will you get the same amount of service? Will you see the same police officers in town?," said Landry.

"In town, probably not, so we are very concerned as to what would happen if you were to consolidate the police forces, and as far as cost, we don't know where the cost would be," said Landry.

He said they might be a little concerned that even if costs are the same, they wouldn't be getting the same services that they're used to.

Chris Gardner, Schenectady County attorney, said there are many reasons dissolving the city's police force and creating a countywide one would not work.

"In essence, there are some false arguments going on about consolidation and I can think of [several] off the top of my head," said Gardner.

"The first one is that you cannot discipline Schenectady's police officers. Discipline right now is covered for the Schenectady police force under the Second Class Cities Law, which replaces the contract provision which had been in place for many, many years," said Gardner.

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