NEWBURGH – The Newburgh City Council has approved a contact with the Ruff Ryders to the Rescue organization and Mayor Torrance Harvey said details of the programs to be run in the city have yet to be worked out.
Support for the group and its plans may not be coming from the city’s PBA. “We don’t need the Ruff Ryders; we need more police officers,” said union President Mike Loscerbo.
Mayor Harvey said the city will be responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover the costs. He was not specific about the amount, but when asked about the source of the funds, he said they could come from the police department budget or possible a HUD grant.
Loscerbo said the police department is operating on a barebones budget and needs more officers, not what he called a new version of the Guardian Angels, the New York City-based group noted for its members wearing red berets. The group had local chapters, including in Newburgh, Poughkeepsie and Kingston for a short period of time, before they evaporated.
The Ruff Ryders to the Rescue Foundation, established in 2000, was created “to assist community-based organizations by providing necessary resources to adequately address the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities,” the group’s website states.