Cooperstown is fortunate to have a police department on duty 24-hoursa- day, and supervised by a chief who has done an excellent job with the limited role she has been provided. Being a former village resident, and a policeman myself in the village in the 1970s, I feel compelled to speak out on this issue.
Cooperstown needed 24- hour coverage back then, and it still needs it now.
In a recent trustee meeting, Mr. Joe Booan asked several times for ``data’’ to support the need for continued 24-hour coverage by the police department. He asked for information about ``the incidence of crimes by shifts’’ that would warrant 24-hour coverage. That is about as smart as saying that since there were only two fires last winter, maybe we should not have a full coverage fire department or EMS either.
The mayor has stated that the funds can be made available and supports full coverage as well. The police chief states the service is needed to protect the village.
Counting on outside agencies to be available in an emergency is ridiculous and poor rationale to try and justify cutting these services.
So Mr. Booan, here is some data for you: You are a trustee charged with the responsibility of, among other things, public safety in the village. Fire, police and EMS should be your first priority. You have a professional police chief. You are not a professional in this field. That is all the data you need to make this decision.
I would suggest that in the future, if there is not 24-hour coverage and someone has an emergency resulting in a tragedy because of no police response, that those voting against this protection be held responsible. In addition, maybe their home telephone numbers should be published so that if you get no help from calling 911, you can call these trustees who seem to have all of the answers.
Police coverage is important
When I was a young woman of 23 and was the caretaker of Fairy Spring, I had a frightening run-in with a trespasser late at night. My call to the Cooperstown Police Department was answered with the arrival of a patrol car within minutes. I was so relieved and grateful for their immediate response.
Needless to say, that story had a happy ending. As I think back to that night and the countless other times I have depended upon our local police, I cringe to think what a cut to their budget would mean.
I encourage our trustees to vote for 24-hour police coverage.
Susie Lasher Knight
Don’t gamble with our safety
There seems do be a disproportionate amount of controversy and ill-will over the $38,000 requested by our Chief of Police to maintain round-the-clock police coverage of our village.
We don’t think that Chief Nicols is asking for anything so preposterous.
Our facts have been garnered from news reports, focusing on direct quotations by board members and Chief Nicols.
Like a lot of local issues lately, this one seems to be clouded by verbosity, and the relevant facts need to be viewed alone. Mr. Booan has called for more data, which Chief Nicols and Trustee Mebust assert have been provided.
Mr. Booan and Mr. Weiller both want to see comprehensive crime distribution statistics, or, in Mr. Booan’s words, ``I would like to know, by shifts, of crime that would warrant 24-hour coverage.’’
From their side of the fence, the argument is one we’ve both heard before, ``There’s relatively little crime here, why do we need so much police coverage?’’
The Mayor and Trustees Mebust and Katz, along with us, weigh in on the other side of ``the chicken or the egg’’ question. To us, living in this affluent village located less than thirty miles from a city that has a pretty crowded police blotter, the answer is obvious: it is our coverage and the fine job the force does that keeps crime to a minimum.
We think it foolish to wait until we have a spike in burglaries, or an increase in violent crimes, or much worse cases of vandalism to present to Trustees Weiller and Booan.
Trustee Hage has said his concern is the ``financial picture for the village.’’ Our concern, and frankly, I know his too, is the safety of our citizens and the peace of mind we enjoy with constant police coverage.
Here’s two pieces of data that stand out in this fray.
We have very little serious crime in Cooperstown. We have 24-hour police presence. Changing one of those statistics will change the other. And we don’t want to wait for proof. Chief Nicols said what so many of us understand. Police coverage is ``an insurance policy for the village that you’re not buying.’’
We implore Trustees Hage, Booan, Weiller and Monie to reconsider what is in the best interests of the village. Buy that insurance coverage and let the taxpayers divide the cost of the policy. Don’t gamble with our safety or with our money.
Nancy Potter and David Pearlman
Basketball team was special
As a member of the 76- 77 basketball team, I want to convey my appreciation for the school to have this type of recognition (The team was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of Fame last week).
Knowing a place in history is secured at the school that I dearly loved is very gratifying. Not being able to attend the ceremony, I wanted to honor in writing by way of this letter the 3 coaching inductees — coach White, coach Howard and coach Kantorowski.
I had the special privilege of playing for each one of these truly special coaches. There are no words to thank them enough for all that they gave to the school and community, true legends and heroes in my book.
As for the player inductees, I will simply say that I personally watched Frank Hill and Ralph Pugliese play and consider them among the finest athletes the school has ever produced. The ’76-77 basketball team was extremely special in that it touched off aástring of great basketball teams to follow at the school and made Cooperstown known as a basketball power. I want to let all my teammates from that year know that there isn’t a day that goes by and I don’t think of each and everyone of them or the tremendous backing by the community for that entire year, it was truly magical. Cooperstown may be many miles away, but I am still one extremely proud ``Redskin’’ at heart.
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