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Croton and Cortlandt Partner in Purchase of New Police Patrol Boat

July 27, 2006

As a follow-up to a recent story called “Trustee Kane Seeks Help from Neighboring Officials to End Abuses on Croton River”, the village board unanimously resolved to purchase a new police patrol boat (view photo gallery) to be used on the Croton River and did so in short order. During the July 24, 2006 meeting Manager Rick Herbek introduced a resolution to acquire the craft at a total cost of $18,000—of which $10,000 was funded by the Town of Cortlandt.

The boat, a 17-foot 1800 BW Pro Sports Boat, complete with a trailer and Mercury 90 HP motor—valued at $29,000—cost the Village of Croton-on-Hudson only $8,500.

Prior to the cooperative purchase of Croton’s new police boat, the department utilized a 12-foot pontoon boat with a 40 HP motor. According to a Croton police detective, the new boat affords officers on patrol the opportunity to store emergency supplies and equipment, more comfortably accommodates the two-person crew with seating and serves as a more effective means for river-related rescues if need be.

The purchase of Croton’s police boat occurred just two weeks after village officials met with Town of Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi and Councilwoman Ann Lindau to discuss immediate plans to solve escalated problems around the river area that included theft, trespass, littering, graffiti and loud noise.

Trustee Ann Gallelli noted during the board meeting that neighboring residents have reported that conditions have already improved since Croton police have stepped up patrols—both on land and water. Ms. Gallelli also said “I would imagine that the people that are actually using the river, they feel safer or more protected knowing that there is a presence there. I think it is benefiting.”

In the coming weeks, Police Chief Dennis Coxen is expected to work out terms with Cortlandt police to extend jurisdiction to the other side of the river—which is accessible by Quaker Bridge Road—so Croton police can begin patrolling by car. Additionally, Trustee Kane will continue discussions with Cortlandt officials in seeking more funding to help offset the costs of additional manpower incurred by Croton police. Further, the board favors more restrictions on the numbers of cars allowed to park on Quaker Bridge Road as a means of controlling the number of visitors who navigate the sensitive trails that lead to the tidal shores of pristine Croton River.

Video clip:

Download this video clip to your video iPod (how to guide).

Video transcript:

Village Manager Rick Herbek: “WHEREAS, The Police Department is experiencing numerous citizen’s complaints regarding trespassing, noise, litter and graffiti among others, in the Croton River area, and

WHEREAS, The Village has met with representatives from the Town of Cortlandt to join forces to address the increasing number and complaints by citizens about trespassing, noise, litter and graffiti among others, and

WHEREAS, The Town of Cortlandt has agreed to contribute $10,000 to help reduce the cost of patrolling the Croton River, and

WHEREAS, The Croton Police will require to procure a police patrol boat in an emergency basis in order to address the increasing number of violations in and along the banks of the Croton River within the Village, and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Village Board authorizes the emergency purchase of a police patrol boat from Buster’s Marine Services, Inc. for the use of the Croton Police Department to patrol the Croton River.

AND BE IT FURHTER RESOLVED: That the purchase price of the police patrol boat in the amount of $18,500.00 be charged to account number A3120.2000.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Treasurer is authorized to transfer $18,500.00 out of the contingency account number A1990.4000 to account number A3120.2000.”

Trustee Charlie Kane: “I’ll make a motion.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Thank you Trustee Kane. Second by Trustee Gallelli. Discussion? Again, this is referring back to what we were talking about before that, you know, the police boat—“

Trustee Charlie Kane: “I’d like to thank town board member and also Linda Puglisi for their $10,000 donation. I think that’s fantastic. They have bought into this enforcement effort. And again, my thanks to the police department who is doing a very fine job in enforcement. Things are much quieter on the Croton River since they have been there. Doing a great job—“

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “And if, if, if any of you have any pull on the town board if you could talk about perhaps keeping an open purse to help us out in the future because this is costing us you know not only this boat but manpower hours out there and we are really taking over the lion’s share of doing the patrolling.”

Trustee Charlie Kane: “We will look into it. We will look at doing that.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “We will see if we can talk to them about you know, a little bit more help.”

Trustee Ann Gallelli: “I just want to add that I um, after having taken the trip with Charlie last um, a week ago and the police boat—the inflatable boat we were using, this is truly a very much needed purchase if we are going to maintain a presence ah, on the river. And I was just wondering where is the other, are they pulling the boat in and out every time that they use it?”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Correct. Yeah, its not. They’re not leaving it—“

Trustee Ann Gallelli: “They’re not putting it out at Mayo’s Landing?”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “The concern was that it would be vandalized there if it was just left there.”

Trustee Charlie Kane: “That’s a major concern.”

Village Treasurer Abraham Zambrano: “The purchase did include the boat and the trailer.”

Village Manager Rick Herbek: “And the motor.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Thank you.”

Village Treasurer Abraham Zambrano: “And the motor.”

Trustee Ann Gallelli: “Water too?”

Trustee Thomas Brennan: “That’s a good bargain.”

Trustee Charlie Kane: “Yes.”

Village Manager Rick Herbek: “Its actually, it was, a few people have said to me if I had known that this boat was available for this price, they would have bought it. This is a $29,000 boat.

Trustee Charlie Kane: “Yes it is. And it has seats and it will have emergency, room for emergency supplies and emergency equipment and ah, hopefully the seats will be there for our officers to sit down in.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “And Charlie, perhaps um, ah, you may want to offer some assistance to the police department in terms of reading the river, learning to understand the river, when to go, when not to go because its, its an art of boating on the Croton River—“

Trustee Charlie Kane: “And I’ve already—“

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Its not a criticism of the Croton police department. That’s not their expertise so really—actually any boater out there that wants to help with the Croton police department to understand how to navigate that river would probably be greatly appreciated.”

Trustee Charlie Kane: “I’ve already been out with the officers and gave them a few tips and I’m always available for more help.”

Trustee Ann Gallelli: “You know, I just in talking as part of this whole thing of us having more of a police presence on the river ah, has been said that ah, that the situation has already improved. And it has improved for Croton residents but I think it has improved for the people that are using the river too. Its just like how we like to have policemen out and about in police cars providing a presence um, ah. I would imagine that the people that are actually using the river ah, they, ah, feel um, safer or more um, protected knowing that there is a presence there. I think it is benefiting.”

Trustee Charlie Kane: “Some of, some of the canoers and kayakers had expressed that they felt threatened on their way up the river with some of the behaviors having been going on there. They were certainly glad to have a police presence.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Cause this is ah, this is quite a resource for the village having to [inaudible]. And it is important that we maintain, you know a calm and maintain the number of people that are down there, make sure that people are safe and that it’s a nice place to go. So. And the town is ah, we need to keep on them about enforcing their parking on the other side of the river—“

Trustee Charlie Kane: “We will.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “So you’ll have to be after them. So, on that resolution, all those in favor?”

Collectively: “Aye.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Thank you.”


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