Cicero: Residents say keep CPD

Miranda L. Pennock 08/30/10More articles
More than 100 town of Cicero residents filled seats set out Wednesday Aug. 25 at the South Bay Fire Department for the regular meeting of the Cicero Town Board.

A majority of those residents, though, were there for one reason only — to hear the long-awaited findings of the Police Study Committee. Many remained in the audience and spoke after the presentation to show their support for the Cicero Police Department.

“The Police Study Committee is here. The study is being presented. It is not a public hearing,” Supervisor Judy Boyke said to the large crowd prior to a PowerPoint presentation by committee chair John Winters. “It’s not going to be a debate.”

The presentation was the first time the town board was seeing the findings in full.

Winters began the lengthy presentation by stating the study was performed so residents can see what Cicero has and move forward.

“I think it’s important to recognize it is not a, ‘Do we do what Clay did?’” he said.

Throughout the last several months, the committee has been wading though financial data, holding listening sessions for the community and taking an overview look at other police departments in Onondaga County.

While Cicero has its own police force to patrol the community and respond to emergencies and other calls, the New York State Police and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department are also responsible for providing police services, Winters said.

Because of the three departments being responsible for policing Cicero, there are many services that overlap. However, some services are unique to Cicero, such as e-policing, Facebook, the Teenager “Home Alone” program and a handful of other services.

At the end of the study, which looked at how salaries and employee benefits play into the cost of providing police services to Cicero residents, the committee presented options for the board to consider: keep the Cicero Police Department, disband the department, disband the department and contract with the county for additional patrol and return the department to using only part-time officers.

The committee does not recommend the town contract with the Sheriff’s Department, Winters said.

Residents who spoke during the public input portion of the meeting showed an overwhelming amount of support for the police department.

“If I didn’t get a ride here tonight I would have walked to support the police department,” said Jimmy Tortorelli, of Church Street.

Anne Ruggeri said she believes it’s very important to keep the department and she has seen the effort officers make to keep the community informed through e-policing e-mails alerts.

Financially, keeping the department as is makes the most sense to some. Resident and firefighter Ron Barling advocated for the department by using the committee’s own example of cost per year for protection—for a home assessed at $194,000, the annual tax for 2010 Cicero Police services is $63.76.

“You will pay more a week for groceries than a year of police protection,” he said.

To read the committees findings, log onto

CATEGORY: General Society
TAGS: Cicero, police, study, committee, town board
EDITION: Star-Review

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