North Hornell Police Department: Seeking Solid Ground For Re-Establishment

April 13, 2021

North Hornell PD Seeks Solid Ground for Re-Establishment
Mayor Promises More Defined Future on Monday

WLEA STAFF REPORTS

NORTH HORNELL — During the regular meeting of the North Hornell Village Board on Monday evening, trustees heard several issues with the police department as it reorganizes under the guidance of Officer in Charge Kyle Amidon.

The village continues to search for a law enforcement identity as it relies on shared services to fill gaps following a two-year absence of local service. Beginning in March, officers employed by the Canisteo Police Department began picking up hours serving North Hornell. The village had previously contracted with the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office for up to 50 hours of service each month, according to an agreement struck last summer.

According to Amidon, he immediately began tackling the problem of updating systems and procuring necessary policing tools that include servicing the radar system, $1,400 in vehicle repairs, installation of a new computer system in the vehicle and catching up on a two-year backlog of compliance reports now that the department is back online.

The most pressing problem facing the department is the lack of a phone line in the office, leaving the officer in charge playing phone tag to track down callers and take reports. Even in a non-emergency situation, residents are encouraged to dial 9-1-1 for a law enforcement response, until a permanent phone line is established.

“Just call 9-1-1 … If we’re not on, a Trooper or Sheriff’s Deputy will respond,” Amidon directed.

While having callers contact 9-1-1 fixes one problem for the part-time department, the Officer in Charge said, “Investigations are difficult when initially reported to a third party.”

A motion to get a land line service for the police department was unanimously approved by the board and Village Treasurer Kristene Libordi will consult with Verizon about service.

Despite the slow start, Amidon expressed optimism, pointing out activities such as traffic tickets increasing over this time last month, from one in all of March, to four or five so far in April. In the meantime, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police continue to cover the village in coordination with Amidon.

Mayor John Falci promised further executive decision-making that would define the future of policing in the village at the annual budget meeting on Monday, April 19.