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Monday, October 3, 2022
Home Government Rye PBA Speaks (to) French: Hire More Cops

Rye PBA Speaks (to) French: Hire More Cops

Rye PBA 2010

In a letter sent to Mayor Doug French and the Rye city council on Wednesday, May 26th, the Rye PBA warned Rye city it is operating at low staffing levels, putting resident and officer safety at risk.

The letter, from Rye Benevolent Police Association President Franco Compagnone said in part:

"The lowered personnel will have detrimental effects on the security of the
Community, basic Police Officer safety and lowered Police response times to inservice Police calls. I have filed a grievance concerning the “work force” issue and I respectfully CCʼd you Mr. Mayor to keep you apprised of this very serious situation. I have been told over and over from City Hall officials of the dire financial constraints, But at what cost? Does the Office of the Mayor and City council find it acceptable to put Officers in jeopardy?…The Point I am trying to make is Someone is going to get seriously hurt and the PBA membership and Community will ask you all was it worth the money savings? What is a numerical value of an Officers safety? Or a Rye residents safety."

Compagnone is urging the city to consider hiring four more cops and suggested they consider some of the 12 cops recently laid off by the city of White Plains.

Read the letter and tell us what you think. Should Rye City spend its money on more police? Leave a comment below.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting letter. I’d be curious to know if the union would be willing to make concessions on pay (including overtime), benefits or pensions to allow for more cops on the street without increasing the overall costs of the police force to the community. To agree to a reduction in pay or benefits would allow for more of their fellow officers to earn a paycheck.
    That’s what’s really driving the reductions in force in White Plains. In order to meet budget, the city had to reduce the force, since they must pay the cops a contractually-agreed wage and pension. Tax revenues are not able to cover these costs, and increasing already too high tax levels further will result in less tax revenue. It’s unrealistic to assume that a state or local government can continue to provide the unions with generous packages that get better every year, including lifetime pensions after 20 years of work. Either the benefits or the number of employed union members must be decreased in order to make ends meet. That’s the plain and simple truth.
    Perhaps the union could agree to change the rules around pensions so that soon-to-retire policmen don’t take all the overtime opportunities to jack up their pension pay levels, or perhaps they could eliminate the automatic step-up function of their contracts.

    My guess is that the union fatcats won’t budge on pay or benefits, so we’re going to be faced with less protection on the streets, less law enforcement and more crime in order for the community to live within our means. Not a pleasant outlook.
    I know these thoughts will inflame many, and I’d dearly love to hear options that local and state governments could pursue that would allow them to meet budgets without destroying further the current and long-term economic well-being of taxpayers.

  2. I don’t understand what you mean by your statement “union fat cats”? you think the City of Rye is in this economic crisis because of the “union fatcats”? So its not because of the City’s purchase’s of the “Lesters” building with 5 million balloon payment due or the Byrd property that cost the city 1 million dollars or the 200 grand for city manager ( also collecting retirement monies) or the 160 grand for an assistant city manager or the 170 grand Police Commissioner ( also collecting NYPD retirement). No, its the Unions fault that the Past Mayor and City manager along with several city council members blew their 10 million dollar surplus monies on inanimate objects instead on investing in human beings, that contribute to the economy. If you read my whole letter , you will see that as a police officer we sacrifice our bodies and potentially our lives to the security and protection of our community and fellow police officers. I am sure you sleep comfortable at night as does your family with these “fatcat union” police officers patrolling 24/7, 365 days a year. You insult myself and my members by referring to us as attempting to take advantage of the pension system, we contribute to the system with sacrifice. The City of Rye when the times where great never saved for such a crisis, now that they have to contribute to our NYS pensions they cry foul? I have made many, above and beyond concessions in the 16 times we have met in the last year and half with Mr. Culros and Mr. Pickup in contract negotiations, yet they don’t commit. You should get your facts straight and do a little research before you attack the very people that are here to protect you. If you would like you can come and meet with myself and the executive board and discuss this in length, the Mayor and City council are more than welcome to attend. You are correct when its not a pleasant outlook, working together we will overcome it, attacking and labeling us “fatcats union” is not a smart move.

  3. Let me see if I’ve understood the argument. The fact that previous City Councils made bad spending decisions (Byrd House, Old CVS building) should not have an impact on what is to be paid to employees of the City going forward? This is to be the case despite the fact that the same source of funds has to be used to cover both employee costs AND “investments”. Have I understood the basis of the argument?

  4. What I find most sad about people that complain about the salaries of cops, firemen, teachers etc. are that the people that are complaining are the “Wall Streeters” that have made tons of money in the past and now don’t. Cops, Teachers and the like have never made what “white collar” people make. They didn’t join their professions for the money but don’t try to take away what is rightfully theirs. Yes, they have a pension. They have all earned it. They have a good amount of their health coverage paid – they deserve it and earned it. For the record about overtime, if some people don’t want the overtime and refuse it, the people that don’t refuse it and get it work for it. Don’t complain about paying overtime if it is needed. It is absurd that people think that cops shouldn’t get overtime, should work for free or less to hire more police. I would like to see you work as hard at your job (if you still have one)for less pay and think that is all right. Give the people a break that have always worked for much less that the white collar people but it is the white collar people that the economy has turned against.

  5. Mr. Compagnone:
    I read every word of your letter, and I don’t dispute the fact that police officers work hard and sacrifice a lot. So do most other people who are trying to improve their lot in life. But I don’t sleep comfortably at night. While I don’t worry too much about public safety in Rye, I worry a great deal about the economic sustainability of this town, this state and this nation when promises are made that cannot be kept, and union bosses continue to demand more, more, more for their members, at a cost above what the community can bear. I worry about a government that refuses to live within its means, and continuously keeps taking more and more private wealth from the many to benefit the few, to the point where it becomes unsustainable.
    The city, the state and nation are in an economic crisis because of a number of events – a willingness of banks to lend money freely, strong encouragement by the federal government to relax lending standards to promote “growth”, short-sighted decisions by millions of borrowers, a misplaced faith that bankers, regulators, rating agencies, investors and portfolio managers had in a number of different financial models with faulty assumptions and serious flaws, and, of course, the short-sightedness of governments everywhere that believed the good times would never end – and made commitments far into the future based on higher than normal short-term tax receipts that would not and could not last. With benefit of hindsight, we now know that there was no shortage of bad decisions made in the past 10 years, by everyone.
    The question we’re faced with now is how to fix it. Some argue (mistakenly) that government needs to borrow more to get out of this mess. The logic of this argument escapes me: would it make sense for a homeowner in foreclosure to take out yet another mortgage on his home to solve his problems? Does anyone think lending money to Greece is a good way to invest money? Of course not – so how does more debt help the situation?
    Some argue for higher taxes, another mistake. That will merely lead to more job losses in the economy, and a smaller population (and tax base) in the state as people move to lower taxed communities close by. We’re already taxed too much. I don’t think anyone is crying foul – the fact is, the state, county and city has come to the inevitable conclusion that our expenses are now greater than our income, our taxes are as high as they can be, so reductions in expenses are the only logical option at this point.
    I’m not insulting anyone by pointing out the simple fact that soon-to-retire policemen look to maximize their retirement income by working as much as possible for their last few years – their pension is decided by an average of the final years of their active employment. Anyone with such an opportunity would pursue the same strategy – it’s fully understandable. What I am pointing out is that if the union bosses wanted to maximize employment of their membership and best serve the public by providing more cops on the street, they could alter their negotiating points to achieve this – they could spread the wealth around to more members of the union by reducing the tail-end costs of hiring individuals.
    I’m not attacking the police. If you think I am, then you need to get a thicker skin. I’m merely pointing out that something’s gotta give; the state, county and city can’t continue to provide it’s employees with packages it can’t afford in the long run.
    In short, the basis for a workable government is unraveling before our eyes. If the government continues to make commitments it cannot keep, it will eventually lose credibility and will not be able to function. How many union members will continue to perform their jobs if the state unilaterally takes away all pension rights, doesn’t make payroll and lets half the employees go? You may think this is highly unlikely, but if the state does not take serious action to curtail costs, the likelihood will be here in just a few short years. We’re certainly closer to such a point now than we were just 4 years ago.

  6. Officer Compagnone,

    I agree with you on one point, 34 members is far too little and hopefully w/the right management someone can make it work.

    However, until there is the RIGHT screening process in place I am against hiring outside the community.

    Look what happened when you and A.R. were brought on board. Two individuals who think they are above the law.

    Maybe next time you can think ahead before beating on a resident (kid) and eventually lose the lawsuit that has been brought forward that will cost the taxpayers dearly!!!

    You have alot of nerve asking for increases as you prance around Rye doing nothing and costing us millions.

    Why don’t you back up your claim for a raise and post your activity sheets???

  7. I believe it is time they start hiring Rye residents who want to be cops! They will care a hell of a lot more about this town then any outsider! Connors won’t change that and Mayor French like Otis just sits there and lets Connors do whatever he wants.

  8. Mr. AboveAverage
    I will back up everyword I put pen to paper, I on the other hand I do not hide behind egotistical screen names as you do. How about getting your facts straight in regards to any lawsuits brought forward against Rye PD Officers. How about you backing up your your supposed credibility by using your real name, instead of judging others on here on a fictitional name. You Mr. Above average are not anything that your name states, but a coward. As for my activity sheets you are more than welcome to review them and my Police file, you will find no blemishs on either, can you say they same about yourself?

  9. Officer Compagnone,
    It doesn’t matter if I sign as Santa Claus, the facts are all that matter.

    Are you saying that you didn’t use excessive and unnecessary force that brought forward a lawsuit?

    Are you saying this is not considered a blemish and would not be found on your activity sheet?

    Would love to see the history on your activity sheets that show how busy you are protecting us while on shift?

    Would love to give you a raise….As soon as you provide all us taxpayers with proof that you have earned one and as soon as you complete an “Anger Management” course!

    I’m not judging anyone, simply telling it like it is!!!

  10. Of course it doesn’t matter when it comes to Mr. Above average, because your above it all, you tell it like it is! You deflect from the whole debate/topic of the Letter with making baseless lies and allegations against myself and other officers. You don’t tell the most important fact, your identity, because your a coward. If you were about “like it is” come to a Police Association meeting, voice your complaints but you won’t. So Mr. Santa Claus you have no credibility here as long as you hide behind that poison pen name and attack people, articles and letters on MyeRye, you are a hypocrite.

  11. Compagnone,

    Your hilarious, notice you are taking the coward way out and not answering the questions!
    Your excuse that you need my identity doesn’t fly.

    The truth shall set you free!!!

  12. Wow, the accusations are flying on here. All government is the same. Either get involved and change it or stop complaining about it. If we all learned to simplify our lives and live within our means, we probably wouldn’t be in half of the trouble we’re in. Just because we yearn for something, doesn’t mean we’re deserving of it.

    Curiously, AboveAvgCitizen, how do you know so much detail about the activities of the police department? Were you wronged by the police, are you former police or are you in Rye government? What’s with the activity log you keep writing about?

  13. nytaxpayer,

    Cops keep daily activity sheets of their shifts.
    Most of the things written about are available to the public. The lawsuit brought forward against the officers involved is PUBLIC RECORD!
    No accusations…just the Cold Hard Facts!

    One doesn’t need to be wronged by police, be a cop or in government to have a little common sense.

    Franco must have hit his head when he fell off the cross.

    All of a sudden he paints himself as some kind of saint, spare us!

    Maybe the next cops we hire will be Rye people instead of loose canyons from Mt.Vernon!

    “Just because we yearn for something, doesn’t mean we’re deserving of it”.

    You Have Said a Mouthful!!!!

  14. Your posts seem to go a bit deeper than normal concern for community (or common sense as you wrote). I am aware that many documents are public record. Your statement about hiring Rye residents as officers is amusing. I don’t think it makes much difference where they come from as evidenced by the “alleged” theft of money from the PBA? That individual lives in Rye. By the way, what’s the latest on that? Where is the money?

    You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. People complain about the money they pay for police/ems but expect immediate service. Then you try to “trim the budget” and the minute there is a delay or incident, everyone is up in arms. You get what you pay for !!!

    I’m sure that if you looked at the lifestsyles of many cops, you’d probably find they are not living high on the hog. I’d say that the sacrifices they make (like working when you and I are enjoying the holidays, being away from their families and risking their safety to protect us) might be worth a little slack.

    As for hiring Rye residents, where can you live and raise a family in Rye on their salary.?. Curiously, does the “AboveAvgCitizen” name relate to your community service, your income or something else?

  15. nytaxpayer,

    No one is perfect and not saying any one is, every one makes mistakes.
    We hire outside our community with little or no concern to the individuals background, at least if we hire from within we know something about the person…personality, family, temperament, etc.

    As for the “alleged” PBA incident… it is just that, an allegation, last time I checked the law is “innocent til proven guilty”.

    You don’t seem to know much about their salaries, I make equal income and live in Rye. Granted I don’t live on the water, all those cops can afford to live in Rye and many do!

    You say my post go deeper than average, I’m just tired of people casting stones, it’s disturbing!

    Last time I looked there was only one God and he is still NRI!

  16. That’s right, no one is perfect. There are no guarantees when hiring someone. Is there an oversupply of Rye residents looking to become officers or something?

    I originally posted on here because of the accusations I was reading. You are guilty of casting stones yourself. Why is it “innocent until proven guilty” for one and not another? Everyone is entitled to their opinion but when you openly contradict yourself, one starts wondering about underlying motivations.

    When you talk about lawsuits for the city, how about the lawsuits involving the same individual accused of stealing the PBA money. There were obviously other motivations involved. The point is, this person has been removed from authority whether by choice, by force or by shame. As I asked previously, where is the money and what is happening with this? Does anyone know?

    If “innocent until proven guilty”, what’s with the rant about the lawsuit regarding officer Compagnone?

    As far as living in Rye on a cop salary, get real. Short of inheriting a home, buying years ago in a down market, getting a deal from a relative, living in a shoebox or living in a condo, there is no afordable housing for that level of income. That is why many live outside of Rye. I imagine that you have lived in Rye for quite some time and probably bought at a time less inflated as now and have paid some of your mortgage down. I don’t need to know the specific income to have common sense.

  17. nytaxpayer,

    wrong on all accounts as for how I survive on comparable income, it’s all good.

    so I guess the kid beat the crap out of himself so he could sue???
    and I should get real?

    It’s a FACT! they/rye are being sued bc it happened, why don’t we wait for the results and then you can come back and tell me how I throw stones!

  18. I guess I hit a nerve. Does that AboveAvgCitizen title you’ve given yourself entitle you to be judge and jury too?

    What’s the verdict on the missing money?

    Congratulations on your living situation. Please let me know when you find a suitable home for a family under $600,000 and suitable Rye residents who want a police position.

    As we all know, there are two sides to every story and somehwere in the middle is the truth. Your throwing stones has nothing to do with
    this particular topic. In general, you’ve voiced a lot of critiscm that seems specifically directed. It makes one wonder what you are really pissed at.

  19. nytaxpayer,

    I am not pissed at all, just stating the facts and if you believe otherwise then spend the time to prove them wrong, there are facts and there are accusations,
    in the mean time…yada yada yada!

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