TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Troy is working to maintain their Emergency Response Team amid concerns from both inside and outside city limits.
It’s on the chopping blocks due to budget constraints.
The mayor’s office says they have been in talks to maintain the team. This comes after an eye-opening letter from Watervliet’s police chief. His department has called on this group of specially trained officers in dangerous situations.
Last January, Troy’s emergency response team helped police across the river end a nearly seven-hour-long standoff and arrest Michael Fox, who had barricaded himself inside this 4th avenue apartment after murdering his neighbor.
In a letter to Mayor Patrick Madden, Police Chief Mark Spain detailed the importance of this elite team.
He’s concerned with the mayor’s decision to disband it due to budget constraints.
Chief Spain writes without the assistance of this team, I shudder to think of any alternate outcomes in these incidents. Their expertise in these operations is invaluable to the emergent situations that seem to arise more frequently in today’s society.
“God forbid there’s an active shooter.”
Troy Council President Carmella Mantello says members thought they were cutting overtime costs, not public safety since the majority of Troy’s ERT is funded from state and federal grants.
“The lack of information is something I do not want to see again. The mayor did not disclose they the ERT and other events would be cut.”
The Mayor’s office says they have been in ongoing talks about maintaining the team.
Mantello says it accrues nearly $20,000 in overtime pay, but that eliminating it for any amount cannot be justified.
“We’ll continue keeping the mayor accountable. That’s our job as a council.”