The Town of Newburgh Police Department is looking to hire some part-time officers, to start work as early as this spring. It's part of a plan to balance both the budget and the need for safety. Christian Farrell reports.
TOWN OF NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- You may not see a help wanted sign in the window, but the Town of Newburgh Police Department is desperately trying to fill some jobs.
"Anybody that we can hire before the summer would be a Godsend," said Town of Newburgh Police Chief Michael Clancy.
And anybody according to Clancy means...anybody. Full-time police officers or even part-time officers.
"I'd certainly prefer full-timers," said Clancy.
But a town budget crunch may lead to the hiring of the department's first ever part-time police officer. A recently agreed upon contract between the town and the Police Benevolent Association actually allows for the hiring of a dozen officers working part-time.
"It looks like the possibilities of hiring part-timers is going to become a reality in the Town of Newburgh - just to fill some vacancies, and give our people out on the street now some extra bodies," said Clancy.
The Town of Newburgh Police Department currently has 46 full-time officers. That's down from 61 full-time officers just five years ago. And it's those types of numbers that cops say are dangerously turning this department into a reactive one rather than a proactive one.
"Calls for service are being answered, but some of the extra things officers were out there doing in the past, they're not able to do as well or at all right now," said Clancy.
However, Town of Newburgh resident Anne Mineo says despite the department's deficiencies, she has nothing but praise for the work of the police. Mineo's husband passed away suddenly last month. But she says it was not without a heroic effort by officers to save him.
"Those police officers, part-time or full-time, I needed them that day, and they were there for our family," said Mineo.
Police officials say a decision by town officials on the hiring of new officers, either part-or full-time, may be made as soon as next week.