DeStefano, left, and Maloney, hope federal COPS money will not be cut
MIDDLETOWN – The COPS program, which has provided $1.6 million for additional police officers in the cities of Middletown, Newburgh and Poughkeepsie alone, may be in jeopardy in President Trump’s federal budget. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY18) urged him not to cut the funding.
The Community Oriented Policing Services program is a vital tool to local crime fighting, Maloney said while at Middletown Police Headquarters on Monday.
“My message to President Trump is, if you want to back the badge, if you want to support law enforcement, talk is cheap, but you have to put your money where your mouth is,” Maloney said. “The president ran explicitly on being the law and order candidate. That’s fine with me, but this is where the test comes.”
Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano said walking patrols would suffer without the funding.
“We have a standing order basically on almost every shift where the police get out and walk through the neighborhoods and meet people at their homes, have conversations about their neighborhoods and their concerns,” DeStefano said. “So, I think those things would suffer.”
In just the last three years, the COPS program has provided five officers for the Poughkeepsie City Police Department, four in the Newburgh City Police Department and four in Middletown.
Middletown Lt. John Ewanciw said that city has received $500,000 for the new officers, one of which has been hired already.