Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Following heated discussion and a tie-breaker vote by the mayor, the Village of Endicott is going to at least talk about the possibility of combining police operations with the Broome County Sheriff's Office.

Trustees David Baker and Frank Flint voted 'yes' while Cheryl Chapman and Joseph Nirchi voted 'no.' Mayor John Bertoni cast the deciding vote, sending the issue into further exploration.

During the public comment period of the meeting, attended by over two dozen people, several police officer voiced their concerns, especially about their contracts.

Supporters of the measure continued to stress that while the village is interested in saving money, the resolution was only to authorize entering into discussion about the idea. It was not an actual agreement to contract with the sheriff's office.

If any merger is approved, the same number of officers currently employed by the village would retain their jobs but fall under the auspices of the Broome County Sheriff.

Some of the police speaking up at the public hearing said they had signed on to become Endicott police, not Deputies.

Several municipalities, also facing financial challenges, are closely watching the debate in Endicott.