Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Dispute over purchasing unmarked vehicles for police department

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Dispute over purchasing unmarked vehicles for police department
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse Common Councilors voted to put the brakes on a plan to buy $500,000 of unmarked police vehicles.

In a seven to two vote, lawmakers separated the department's request, approving funding to buy other types of vehicles, but never considered 22 unmarked cars.

Chief Frank Fowler questioned the decision, saying it’s going to make it harder to fight crime on the street.

Meanwhile, some councilors referred to the unmarked vehicles as perks that the city cannot afford during tough financial times.

"Many of these vehicles will sit in a suburban driveway, rarely, if ever, be used for an emergency response,” said Lance Denno, Syracuse Common Councilor At-Large.

"I've answered every question they've asked me. I've done everything that they've required me to do. They keep moving the goalposts. I don't know what else I have to do. I need these vehicles, but it’s up to them to give them to me and I need these vehicles to keep the community safe," Fowler said.

Some lawmakers pointed toward the possible closure of fire station seven, saying they would like to see the $500,000 spent elsewhere.

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