ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Spring Valley Mayor Demeza Delhomme has had it with the police department not having the proper equipment and manpower it needs to keep the village safe.
"It's ridiculous what certain members of the Board of Trustees have done to keep the department from getting what it needs to protect our residents," he said on Wednesday.
The mayor's statements come on the heels of the board recently voting to approve five new vehicles for the department, but only after they received bad press when Spring Valley PBA President Matthew Galli brought to light the problems the department is facing.
"It shouldn't be this way," the mayor said. "We have one of the best police forces around who are dedicated and work hard with our children. They should have what they need."
The mayor added that he can't wait for the November election in hopes that "certain" board members will be replaced and the village can move forward.
"You will always find officers with our children, in church, at the park, at meetings, everywhere," he said. "We haven't had a juvenile arrest in months because of their efforts."
He also points to the village's 37 different ethnic communities as another obstacle the department faces.
"We have this wonderfully diverse community only second to New York City, but think what kind of pressures that puts on the police department who have to understand and deal with so many different types of residents," he added.
Galli is happy with the new vehicles but said they are only a start.
The longtime officer said they haven't had promotions in years, need more manpower and additional vehicles and weapons and the list goes on.
Still a patrol officer, Galli had pointed out patrol cars with duct tape, outdated weapons and a lack of officers.
He believes the department deserves the equipment it needs to keep the village safe and for city officials to stand behind their efforts.
"We have a fine department that works hard to protect the people of Spring Valley," he said. "But, at the same time, we need resources to do our job.'
The mayor agrees and vows to keep working to make sure the department receives the new officers and the promotions and updated weapons.
"It's embarrassing and frustrating that we even have to discuss this because of politics," he said. "the department deserves better."
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