O’burg city council eyes two more police officers

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 2:38 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - There’s a push to add two police officers to the ranks of city police - but how many votes are needed to get the resolution passed is up for debate.

City council member Dan Skamperle is introducing the legislation. It will come up at Monday’s meeting. Skamperle says adding police is a ‘no-brainer,’ because of ongoing problems with drugs and violence in the city.

City police are budgeted currently for 19 officers, with 11 of them on road patrol. The new officers would be paid for out of the city’s $6.1 million fund balance, according to the legislation.

Typically, four votes are needed to pass resolutions. But this resolution may require five, because it was placed under ‘new business’ on the council’s agenda.

Skamperle says that’s not where it belongs.

“I know I have three votes. I hope I have four,” he told 7 News. “The city manager put it under ‘new business’ and it should have been put under ‘regular business’ so we’ll have that discussion first Monday night.”

Skamperle believes if the item is left under new business, it may require five votes “so that may have been done purposely that way,” he said.

In a statement , City Manager Stephen Jellie said the resolution, “has no weight as it directs the city manager to ‘hire’ police officers.”

Jellie says that would violate the city charter in the same way that an outside arbiter ruled the city did in a past resolution directing the city manager to lay off employees.

Jellie says he put the resolution under new business, “so the topic can be discussed and proper instruction given without violating the charter.”

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