Owego Police Staffing Levels Unchanged
The Owego village board has opted not to add two officers to the police department.
Three trustees voted against hiring the officers during Monday night's meeting. Two other trustees were joined by Mayor Kevin Millar in voting in favor of the hiring measure.
Trustee Michael Phelps, who is a Vestal police officer, abstained from the vote. He also resigned as village police commissioner.
Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Millar said he was "very disappointed at the outcome of the meeting."
The current village budget contains money for the additional police officers.
Millar said six or seven prospective candidates had been interviewed to fill the two full-time positions, which have been vacant.
The Owego police department will continue to operate around-the-clock, seven-days-a-week for the time being.
Millar said the ongoing debate about the future of the department hurts the village's ability to recruit and retain police officers.
The mayor said the department has lost three officers over the past 18 months. He attributed that, in large part, to the "tenuous" situation facing the agency.