Police proponents, opponents survey

Police proponents, opponents survey
The entrance to the Whitehall Police Station.

By Matthew Saari

If there’s a strong push to disband the Whitehall Police Department to reduce village taxes, there’s an equally strong movement to keep the local force in place.

When David Molenaar sent the Times a letter outlining “the debilitating cost” of maintaining the village police department last April, former mayor Ken Bartholomew responded in kind, sending in a letter explaining why the village needs a police department.

Wrote Bartholomew: “A contract with the sheriff would not give the same coverage as the PD’s. Reason: The Sheriff’s priority, as it should be, is county-wide law enforcement. If there is a call anywhere near the village such as the town of Whitehall, Dresden, Putnam…and the ‘Whitehall Deputy Patrol’ was the nearest unit it would, necessarily, be sent to handle the call.”

Bartholomew also cited sheriff deputy response times as an issue.

“This means the unit could be in Salem or Greenwich or tied up on another call, where there is an immediate need in the village. In either of the above cases, do you wish to wait 30 minutes or longer during your emergency?” wrote Bartholomew.

Another vocal resident advocating for keeping the village police is former village trustee Mike LaChapelle, who attended the April village board to voice his support.

 

This is only a preview of the story published in the Whitehall Times. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.