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Police Departments Need More Time To Meet Cuomo’s Order

We hope state legislators are listening to the chiefs of small police departments in their districts when it comes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s late June executive order mandating changes to police training procedures.

Departments that don’t comply could lose state funding if they don’t meet the governor’s mandate by April 1.

None of the chiefs in small departments have a problem with additional training. In fact, they welcome as much training as they can provide their officers. The problem is time and money. Training is expensive, in part because of travel costs from our corner of the state to training sites several hours away. Sending officers out to training also means additional overtime for remaining officers to fill open shifts. Governments at all levels are looking to make mid-year spending cuts to balance their budgets after the governor’s COVID-19 business shutdown ravaged tax collections at every level of government. Small departments like the Lakewood-Busti and Ellicott police departments aren’t likely to have the funding in their budgets between now and August to comply with Cuomo’s mandate. And, with a budget deficit between $7 and $13 billion, depending on who you ask, the state isn’t in a position to pay for additional training.

One solution is to offer more training throughout the state to cut travel and overtime costs for small police departments whose budgets have always been tight. Rotating training sites aren’t likely to be implemented anytime soon, given that it’s already late July, so legislators will have to arrive at a legislative compromise to give departments more time to meet the governor’s executive order.

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