I recently read that the Westfield Village Board of Trustees has approved a contract for the policing of the Town of Westfield by the Village of Westfield Police Department. Upon returning from executive session on Monday, April 15, the board unanimously voted to approve a policing contract, appropriating monies of $10,000 per year from the township, in order to perform this service.
I am wondering why a similar policing contract, which was proposed during the previous mayoral administration was rejected, and this newest contract proposal was approved. If I am in good understanding, the latest contract with the Village of Westfield, for the policing of the Town of Westfield, was for the same amount of money as entertained during the previous contract discussions. What, if anything, has changed from contract to contract?
How much law enforcement is really required, in order to effectively provide security to the citizens of the township? Has the Town of Westfield's crime rate raised so much, as to require three policing agencies - village, sheriff and state police - in order to provide enough area police coverage? I cannot believe that with the appropriation of a sum as small as $10,000 annually, and in order to fund this issue, will cover the amounts of salaries, equipment, vehicles, insurance, building maintenance, etc., required for the full implementation of this contract. I do not believe that the amount of money secured would even start to touch the vehicle maintenance and gasoline costs required, let alone support the very patrolling, of one of the largest townships in the county.
I am all for public safety and security to the public trust. I don't want to see home invasions, theft, or drunk drivers on the road anymore than the next person. I am simply asking that a more realistic approach to the issue should be discussed. I do not wish to see annual village taxes increased, a year after this contract has been fully adopted, in order to provide the Town of Westfield additional police coverage, as well as potential police support, and other services to other villages, basically free of charge.
Bradley D. Troutner,