As a resident of the Village of Lancaster, I would like to respond to your June 18 editorial concerning abolition of the village Police Department. Using the figures that Mayor Posluszny is fond of quoting, your editorial reports a savings in tax dollars for village residents and you recommend voter support to abolish the Police Department since "governmental duplication anywhere is a waste of money."
If the current village police services were a duplication of services already provided by the town, then this would clearly be wasteful. Certainly there is some duplication in specific areas, and these should be identified and dealt with. For the most part, however, there does not appear to be duplication of direct police services.
Nonetheless, many residents would probably support a merger (not abolition) if it were well thought out and questions were answered specifically about the level of service to be provided and at what cost.
Many residents have asked the board to first complete an intelligent, objective study of this proposition and then present the facts. Instead, all we have received is the assurances of the mayor that his course is the right one. Given the current atmosphere, it is difficult to know which is the best way to vote.
Study was refused
Your recent editorial on the abolition of the Lancaster village police shows that you will seize any opportunity to promote your strong stand on metro government. To do it at the expense of a community of almost 15,000 residents is irresponsible and unethical.
Does The Buffalo News know or care that the village mayor has refused to allow a study that was called for by both the Lancaster town and village police chiefs to be conducted by the New York State Bureau for Municipal Police? Why are the majority board members afraid of a non-political, unbiased and no-cost study?
The village presently staffs 16 officers, and a state study shows that for the size and needs of our community we should staff 19 officers. The town states they will only pick up a "base force" of nine officers. Are we to believe that nine officers can possibly give the same personalized service and response time?
We are proud of our village and are not ready to give it away or let an editor sitting in Buffalo try to dictate what is best for our community.
Village of Lancaster Trustees
Response time is key
I sincerely wish that the non-residents of the Village of Lancaster would keep their criticisms to themselves when it concerns our village police force. These people cannot possibly know how valuable this department is to village residents. This Police Department is located in the heart of the village. Response time is extremely important when it comes to any serious call.
I've been a village resident for 21 years and am involved with a local first-aid squad. I have seen these men in action and can personally attest to their importance. Keeping the localization of these departments is important to maintain an adequate and speedy response.
Local control best
Regarding your editorial on the Village of Lancaster police force, who is The Buffalo News to take sides on what is good for any community? If you look at bigger departments, you will see slower time in answering calls, etc. The News seems to be gearing toward a metro police force. Why?
Let the people in each community speak loud and clear that their police are there and they want them there. They have more control over their local police.
JOHN J. JABLONSKI
Chief of Police
Village of Hamburg