Cold Spring Mayor Dave Merandy said he wants “everyone to relax a bit” as the village prepares to review its Police Department in compliance with a state requirement that municipalities review their law-enforcement policies and operations.
The issue, he said at the Tuesday (July 21) meeting of the Village Board, has prompted “a few more emails than usual” in his inbox.
Merandy said Larry Burke, the officer-in-charge of the Cold Spring Police Department, plans to attend a July 27 meeting with officials from Putnam County and other local police forces. “He wants to see how other villages and towns will handle the review,” the mayor said. “Once he knows, we’ll move forward.”
The state order, issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 12, requires the reviews to involve “engaged stakeholders in a public and open process.”
“Everyone will be involved, as is required,” Merandy said. “We’re taking it seriously; Larry is taking it seriously. But we’re not going to just jump into forming a panel and not know where we’re going.”
The review must be completed by April 1 and include programs such as bias-awareness training for officers, community outreach and a complaint procedure.
In other business…
■ Merandy said there have been no leads in the police investigation of anti-gay graffiti on Fair Street near Mayor’s Park. He said an officer photographed the slur as evidence before Highway Department employees painted over it. “The police are doing what they can,” he said.” It might be a case where we need someone to come forward.”
■ The board continued its discussion on reopening the public restrooms near the pedestrian tunnel, which have been closed since the outbreak of COVID-19. Tracey Walsh, the director of Putnam County Tourism, attended Tuesday’s meeting and said the county will supply bulk sanitizer, gloves, masks and signage to encourage the public’s cooperation. Merandy said the board is awaiting a proposal from the Chamber of Commerce to open the restrooms on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
■ Highway Department Crew Chief Robert Downey Jr. recommended that the board accept a $98,000 bid from Ben Funk International in Hudson for a garbage truck. The old truck was badly damaged in an accident last winter. About $26,000 will be covered by insurance, he said.