Cost of Policing Motorcycle Event Questioned

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Well into the agenda at the Tuesday (April 22) meeting of the Cold Spring Village Board, a brief memo from Village Accountant Ellen Mageean regarding the cost of extra policing at a Redrum Motorcycle Club event planned for Mayor’s Park this summer gave rise to a lengthy discussion.

Officers from four police departments patrolled Cold Spring during Redrum's fundraiser.

Officers from four police departments patrolled Cold Spring during Redrum’s fundraiser in 2013 (file photo).

In her memo Mageean estimated that the cost of having 10 officers on duty for the event, as requested by CSPD Officer-in-Charge George Kane, would cost approximately $2,000. Each officer would work an eight-hour shift. Trustees agreed that was a high price to pay, but were initially reluctant to require the motorcycle club to foot the bill since the event benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The board’s understanding tone lessened somewhat when Trustee Stephanie Hawkins pointed out that last year’s event raised only between $2,500 to $3,000 and questioned whether village taxpayers should have to subsidize the event. Trustee Cathryn Fadde also questioned the cost given the relatively small amount of money raised.

Mayor Ralph Falloon said that because there were no problems when about 150 motorcyclists attended last year’s event, New York State Police, Putnam County sheriff and Metro Transit Authority police would be less likely to provide the same degree of support this year. In March last year, a violent incident involving the Old Bones Motorcycle Club on Route 9 near Route 301 prompted concern among law enforcement agencies that the Mayor’s Park event could be a problem.

Falloon said that as a result, last year there was a great deal of police activity behind the scenes and that the Putnam County district attorney was involved. Hawkins asked why the Village Board was not made aware of that at the time; however the mayor did not elaborate. Falloon said he will speak with Kane about his request for 10 officers and will also contact other police forces regarding possible assistance. He said Kane could possibly pay for additional policing out of the CSPD budget but acknowledged that could impact police coverage at other special events later in the year.

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