At the Common Council meeting on March 17, a document called "Inter-Municipal Cooperative Agreement: Columbia-Greene Shared Services Response Team" was accepted as a communication. Last night, at the Common Council Police Committee meeting, Chief Ed Moore spoke about this agreement, explaining that it related to the Hudson Police Department SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team.
Moore explained that he had been assessing the HPD SWAT team to determine if it was compliant with New York State regulations established in 2010. He found that the SWAT team's equipment was up to basic standards, but its size and command structure, its training and capabilities were not. He told the committee that the situation with the SWAT team "dovetails with accreditation": having a SWAT team that is out of compliance would negatively affect the HPD's accreditation.
Moore said his first thought was simply to eliminate the SWAT team and call in the SWAT team from the state police whenever the need arose, but he told the committee, "You cannot rely on getting the state police here in time." According to Moore, the SWAT team is primarily used for serving warrants, arresting people in their homes, and in situations where there are "active shooters." The solution to the problem Moore is recommending is partnering with the Greene County Sheriff's Office and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office to form a shared SWAT team made up of officers from all three agencies. Moore sees benefits in having HPD officers "share information and train together with the sheriffs' officers." The shared service agreement would also allow the group to "tap into grants."
Common Council president Don Moore asked what Chief Moore thought the group needed grants to acquire, expressing concern about SWAT teams "that have gone way over what is required by the community," apparently alluding to the trend toward militarizing local law enforcement agencies. Chief Moore said the group has already acquired a robot but did not elaborate except to say that there was grant money available to pay overtime.
Police Committee member Bart Delaney (Fifth Ward) moved and the committee unanimously agreed to bring a resolution on the shared services agreement before the full Council at its April meeting.
COPYRIGHT 2015 CAROLE OSTERINK