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White Plains PBA: 'City Should Hire More Officers'

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The White Plains Police Benevolent Association has used news of additional county income as an opportunity to petition the city for more public safety officers.

Robert Riley, president of the union, said the city took in an increase of 5.7 percent in sales tax revenue during its first quarter of the fiscal year. Riley said, as a result, the city should follow "management 101" and replenish the police ranks that have recently been diminished by the city's tight budgets.

"Public safety should be our top priority and therefore the first place money goes when we receive a windfall," Riley said in a statement. "Cut when revenues are down. Build when they go back up. If the administration doesn’t understand that, the citizens of White Plains are in serious trouble.”

The mayor's office declined to comment on the union's proposition.

White Plains took in approximately $7 million more in sales tax revenue this July to September than the city earned during the same quarter last year, according to the state department of taxation and finance.

The Police Benevolent Association said White Plains can afford to hire officers now that sales tax revenues have edged close to the city's monthly sales tax revenue record, with receipts totaling the second highest figure this September – $5,007,305.

The city is currently engaged in contract negotiations with the police benevolent association, and union officials say they aim to get more officers on the streets. The city laid off 12 officers last spring, five of whom have been rehired, according to Andrew Moesel, a press representative for the Police Benevolent Association. Moesel said attrition has trimmed the police force by nearly 10 percent over the past three years.

What are your thoughts on the police benevolent association's argument? Do you think sales tax increases should be used to hire more police officers? Do you think the budget is still too tight for new hires? Join the conversation below.

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