Pulaski (WSYR-TV) - The fate of an Oswego County police department is now in the hands of village voters.
After months of talk, a public vote to decide whether or not the Pulaski police department will be dissolved has been set for March 19. It's a proposal floated by the mayor, but one that not everyone is on board with.
A public hearing on this issue will be held on February 19 at the village hall at 7 p.m. We're told specific information on the proposal will be provided.
Nestled along the Salmon River with a population of a little more than 2,000 is the small village of Pulaski, complete with its own police department.
Village trustee Sharon Taplin told NewsChannel 9, “I think the visibility of Pulaski police makes a big difference in deterring crime and without the visibility, I think we would be hurt."
While the State Police and the Sheriff's Department already provide protection in the village and would continue to do so if the department was dissolved Taplin is worried response times would suffer and there would be fewer patrols.
Taplin says eliminating the police department now would come at a bad time because over the last three years, the department has seen an increase in calls.
The mayor has repeatedly declined our requests for interviews and information on his proposal, as did the Pulaski police chief.
Trustee Alan Englebrekt tells us the village is facing an aging infrastructure with older sewer and water systems and buildings. Last year, taxes went up and jobs were cut. As far as this year, village leaders will start hammering out the budget in the spring.
Pat Fox thinks the department should be dissolved. “I think the tax dollars can go for something better than paying for protection that we don't necessarily need."
“We have state police here. We have the sheriff, why do you want a village police,” Fox told NewsChannel 9.