Harrison Police Chief Defends Budget Proposal

HARRISON, N.Y. - Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini said he was surprised but confident in his department's abilities to make do after learning his budgetary recommendations wouldn't be fully met by the Town Board.

Marraccini cited the past two budget seasons as the only times he's seen a local town board fail to meet the police department's financial recommendations regarding public safety.

"We continue to do our job as we always have because we're here in the community to serve to the best of our ability," Marraccini said. "We have worked through adversity and we will continue to do so."

The Harrison Police Department asked the board to allow room in the budget for more staffing and training time, adding that its proposal would cost Harrison taxpayers roughly 30 cents per day, per taxpayer. Though the board didn't grant the department an item-by-item approval, it was given funding to hire three more officers.

Mayor/Supervisor Joan Walsh said in an email this week that the chief was deceitful in his tactics to sway public opinion by presenting a budget request to the board that she says was already discussed. In the letter, Walsh accused Marraccini of having too much "hubris" and failing to accept that the board could not financially meet all of his requests.

"Since none of his presentation was new information to the board members, it was obviously an attempt to influence residents to ask the board to grant that department additional funding, over and above what had already been determined was necessary and affordable," Walsh said in the statement.

Marraccini said the email was more of a personal attack against him rather than a rebuttal to the budget presentation to the Town Board last week.

"My intent has been to inform the community and the Town Board of what I believe to be necessary for adequate law enforcement," Marraccini said. "There is no political agenda or intent to create adversity."

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