Traffic enforcement, quality of life and substance abuse (especially as it pertains to kids) are Kopy’s three priorities going into the Public Safety job.
“Those are three very important things to me personally and professionally,” said Kopy. “Rye is a beautiful place, right? People want to be able to walk on the streets and feel safe. They want to be able to drive on the streets and not get cut off. They want to be able to sit in their yards and enjoy their yards. And then certainly you know substance abuse in any form for anybody is a bad thing but particularly with the kids.”
Kopy works with RyeACT and the school resource officers of the schools. He also notes being diligent on burglaries, other property crimes and vehicle larcenies.
On Flooding – Mandatory Evacuations?
“Flooding is real. It’s never going away,” said Kopy. He sees the PD, FD, DPW, auxiliary, volunteer firemen involved in response and that “everybody’s prepared to respond and that we have the right equipment and the right training.”
The city is preparing and training a swiftwater rescue team under the direction of the fire department that will also include the police. In addition, he will “explore teams further way in the state – in Rochester, in Plattsburgh, in Buffalo, that when we know we are going to get significant rainfall, they just have to be pre-staged and brought in because we can’t count on our neighbors here in close proximity because they are all gonna have their own problems.
“I think we have to start looking at this and say are mandatory evacuations going to be necessary? When we know this rain is coming it’s not fair to put the police and firemen in jeopardy.”
Kopy says we each need to be personally prepared. “Are you prepared to leave your house when you need to? When the river is coming up? You’ve got to be ready to leave.” He talks about all hazards planning – “If you look at the last couple of years, you’ve had a flood, you’ve had a two-foot snowfall, you’ve had a wind storm that left us out of power for nine days… Where are you going to go? Where are you going to eat? How are you going to charge your phone?”
Sports and Free Time
“What teams are there—the Giants and the Yankees,” said Kopy, touching on some of his interests outside of work. “Are there any other football and baseball teams?” Besides his clear and seasoned interest in travel, he and his wife work in the yard raising flowers and some vegetables. They have had dogs for the duration, and just rescued two German Shepherds six months ago.
Of his local food haunts, Kopy mentions Ruby’s and Rye Bar & Grill right off the top. He and his wife just enjoyed Meso for the first time and have Frankie & Johnny’s on the rotation.
Expectations of Residents
Residents have always expected a lot from local elected officials and city staff, so we asked Kopy about his expectations of residents. “It’s an understanding that these are very, very difficult jobs. They have to make decisions in a split second. Everything is not always as you see it.”
Kopy promises transparency and a lot of flow of information on police and fire activities. “I think that that helps, not only build but maintain the trust and confidence.”