Consolidation cautiously approached

Glenville police chief presents concepts for moving forward

The mood was tense as officials and residents from Scotia and Glenville listened to a presentation Wednesday, March 29, by Glenville Police Chief Michael Ranalli on police consolidation efforts between the two municipalities.

Concepts for consolidating were presented to a Village Hall packed with residents, police officers and town officials, including Village Mayor Kris Kastberg, Town Supervisor Christopher Koetzle and both of their liaisons for police departments.

I don't know if it is the right time right now, but I do think it is time for us to take a serious look at it, said Kastberg about the consolidation talks. "There are a bunch of small things that we could possibly do. The largest is consolidation, and it also is the most complex, so it made sense to tackle that one first."

Earlier consolidation talks had gone by the wayside but were revisited recently with the village looking at ways to save money. Now the Village Board of Trustees must decide whether Scotia wants to continue looking into consolidation, a decision that is expected to be made at the board's next meeting on Tuesday, April 5.

Ranalli said the March 29 meeting was a way to present some solid concepts to the public so both municipalities had something to "sink their teeth into" as they decided whether or not to move forward.

"Anything you see in this presentation tonight is absolutely not carved in stone. This is a conceptual review," said Ranalli. "While I put together some patrol concepts and some deployment concepts, they are not set in stone. You need a group of people that are experienced and know the community admittedly better than I do to come up with a final product."

For 22 of his 27 years in law enforcement, Ranalli worked with a larger department in the Town of Colonie, and that experience there has allowed him to see how a larger department, covering a town and village, can work for the benefit of both.

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