The Greenburgh Town Board tonight approved a measure calling for the Town to spend $111,000 to purchase four fully equipped motorcycles for use by the Greenburgh police.
The sum of $104,000 for the purchase was taken on January 27, 2016 from the Town’s fund balance and transferred to the police to pay for the new wheels since the 2016 budget did not include any money for motorcycles.
According to Councilman Ken Jones, the police agreed in effect to pay the fund balance money back by not replacing this year a police officer who had retired. In other words, in order to get its first-ever fleet of motorcycles, Greenburgh police had to agree to operate for the year at reduced manpower.
There does not appear to have been any public discussion of the need for a motorcycle fleet and certainly no public discussion of any agreement on the part of the police to operate at reduced manpower in order to get them.
Council member Diana Juettner said the matter had been discussed at a “work session” sometime this past fall “during budget season,” but a review of work session agendas for all such meetings did not indicate when such discussion actually took place. Similarly, a search of all town board minutes in 2015 for the word “motorcycle” turned up nothing.
Without anyone able to identify the work session where the matter was supposedly disclosed, it is not clear why, all of sudden, after decades of operating without them, the Greenburgh police suddenly needs a fleet of motorcycles — which presumably are less expensive than patrol cars but obviously come with certain safety risks and additional training requirements — or why the police department felt it was so important now to get these motorcycles that it was worth operating the department at reduced manpower for a year in order to get them.
Town Supervisor Paul Feiner had nothing last night to say on the subject.
Police Chief Chris McNerney was on vacation and did not attend last night’s town board meeting where residents raised these questions.