From the Office of the Mayor of Bronxville
By Mayor Mary Marvin
January 24, 2022
You may recall that at approximately this time last year, in response to Governor Cuomo‘s directive, the Village of Bronxville formed a Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC). The members of the PCRC were chosen to represent a wide array of constituents across the Village ranging from clergy, merchants, residents, students, police officers and members of the judiciary with forums for public input.
After multiple meetings and engaged and diverse public discourse, it became quite clear that the Bronxville Police Department and Village government could do a better job informing the community about the roles our police play and in particular the level of police training, department policies and activity with more effective communication and transparency as such communication could only help strengthen the bonds between the BPD and the community.
Most importantly, the Committee emphasized that the communication between the Police Department and the residents be an ongoing pattern of disclosure and not simply to fulfill the task mandated by the state and then end the conversation.
To that end, the committee’s first recommendation was quite specific— to enhance the community’s understanding and awareness of our Village police activities and policies by:
• Making monthly statistics available on the Village website
• Posting ten year history of statistics on the Village website
• Updating the civilian complaint form and making it readily accessible
• Completing an annual report of the BPD, and
• Enhancing police training at every opportunity.
Some specific examples of this included less lethal weapon training for all members of the BPD, expanded de-escalation training to all members and partnering with the departments in the Village of Tuckahoeand the Town of Eastchester to increase training opportunities.
With the exception of the annual report or a “State of the Police Department” message which will take place in April, all of the above recommendations have been met and dare I say quite exceeded.
Before sharing some of the newest developments, I want to recap our department so as to put everything in perspective.
Our force, from a historic high of 28 officers now has 23 officers, three of whom were added in the past month in response to community input for more foot patrol especially in the business districts. On each one of the three daily shifts, we have two police cars with one officer each patrolling the Village as well as an officer answering the central phone system. In addition is our new foot patrol, added bike patrols and traffic enforcement. Of our officers, two are female, one is of Hispanic lineage and speaks fluent Spanish, one is of Jamaican descent, one was born in Ghana and speaks fluent Twi – Ashanti dialect, and one is African American. The result is one of the most diverse departments in the county.
On average, the police desk receives approximately 3300 calls yearly, 90% of all arrests resulting from these calls asking for assistance, be it for witnessing shoplifting, a burglary, etc. As example, a staffer from one of our businesses may call and ask the PD to take a shoplifter into custody.
In the past 13+ years, each with an average of 3100 calls. We have had zero false arrest claims. As to our interface with the Bronxville School, of our 23 officers 11 have now been certified as youth officers and two additional officers are certified as school resource officers, requiring an even higher level of training. Sergeant Nicholas DeYoung is also on the school district Safety Committee which meets monthly.
Prior to the most recent training quarter from October 2021 to January 1, 2022, our officers completed elder abuse training, countywide in-service training at the County Police Academy including de-escalation training; an FBI program for ranking officers which trained in leadership and proper supervision of fellow police officers; specialized training in the use of Narcan which is carried on every tour; training in the specialized response needed when the person needing help is autistic and weapons and taser training above and beyond that required by New York State including proficiency in the use of pepper spray, pepper ball guns, tasers and beanbag rounds.
Thanks to all of this training during Chief Satriale‘ s tenure, there have been zero use of excessive force complaints, no racial discrimination assertions and no lawsuits claiming false arrest. Net net our village policies go far beyond any state or national standards.
In October, the department held four days of active shooter training at the former Concordia College campus in conjunction with the Tuckahoe and Eastchester PD’s.
In addition to active shooter response tactics , the officers were trained in County wide mutual aid protocols as well as proper integration of active shooter response with our neighboring communities. The training culminated in force on force scenarios to test the tactics learned.
In the area of highly specialized training, two officers attended a three day NYS Division of Criminal Justice sponsored course that taught the concepts and principles of breath alcohol testing resulting in certification as breath analysis operators.
Three officers attended a 40 hour Community Resource Officer course given by the state of New York Juvenile Officers Association. The course certified each of our officers as a Community Resource Officer trained to assist our community in the new direction of police interaction and advanced community policing. Course topics included implementing and promoting the CRO concepts, implicit bias, de-escalation techniques, understanding mental health/special-needs, presentation and communication skills, social media crimes and tools for CRO promotion, and advanced record keeping.
To get our three new hires to Bronxville PD standards, they recently completed training including: Department Range Qualification in their Glock 22 duty weapon, off duty handgun, patrol rifle and pepper ball gun.
In addition, they completed classroom training on de-escalation tactics, taser qualification, Use of Force Policy, legal updates, vehicle pursuit policy, juvenile law, bail reform updates and certification in body worn camera use.
The above is just a small sampling of the 2,485 training hours by our department in the calendar year 2021.
I urge you to go to the Bronxville Police Department website to learn with even greater depth the operation of our force.