By Matthew Saari
Whitehall village residents have spoken – they want their police department.
More than 50 people turned out for a public hearing regarding the future of the Whitehall Police Department – so many that village officials moved the hearing to the Whitehall courtroom to accommodate everyone.
Village and town residents were joined by Whitehall and Granville police officers, Granville town supervisor Matt Hicks and even a college student on assignment.
“We’re here because at previous meetings some members of the public have brought up abolishing the police department,” Mayor Phil Smith said as he opened the hearing Thursday. “The main thing driving this is money.”
“I do hope this is civil,” he added.
For an hour, Smith and village trustees fielded questions and heard personal anecdotes for why the village should continue to maintain its own police department or disband it in favor of having Washington County Sheriff’s deputies take over policing.
The vast majority was in favor of keeping the Whitehall Police Department, regardless of costs.
Smith provided the attendees with a spreadsheet, breaking down and summarizing the costs incurred by the village in maintaining its own police force.
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.