Thursday, November 27, 2014

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City looks at possible public safety options

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: City looks at possible public safety options
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- A rise in crime on Binghamton's West Side has city planners and police working together to find a solution.

City councilors met with Police Chief Joseph Zikuski on Tuesday night to try and find common ground on an issue that has received negative feedback from the police union.
The president of the union was scheduled to be part of the discussion Tuesday night, but had to cancel.

The council is looking at employing people outside of the police force to patrol areas of the city with the hope of deterring crime.

Last year, almost half of the city's 219 car larcenies took place on the West Side. In November, Zikuski told YNN the city had four police cars set up in the neighborhood, but council members said the city can't afford more. Now they're looking at different possibilities.

"There's three possible proposals. One, a direct hire of staff, two off duty, retired police officers and three utilizing, for the interim, an internship format with interns from the criminal justice program at BU. But we have three different levels to look at,” said Binghamton City Councilor Bill Berg.

Councilman Berg says they hope to have a solid plan in place by the summer.

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