Police Thwart City Council Plan

By Adam Chick

Police Thwart City Council Plan

January 22, 2013 Updated Jan 23, 2013 at 8:50 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A proposal to hire residents part-time to act as security officers to patrol problem neighborhoods took a big hit Tuesday.

A plan was met with opposition by Joseph Zikuski, the City of Binghamton's Police Chief.

Councilman Bill Berg originally proposed the idea to have uniformed residents patrolling the streets, either on foot or in city vehicles.

The goal was to have more eyes on the street and increase patrol hours.

Scott Patrick, a Lieutenant with the Binghamton Police Department, said auxiliary police forces, like those similarly used in New York City, can't enforce the law. He also said placing untrained residents in potentially dangerous situations was unwise.

His proposal defeated, Berg directed his anger away from his proposal.

He said the media would slant the story to favor one side. Patrick said there was only one side to the proposal: That following the idea would be foolish.

"They propose these people go out there without a handgun," Patrick said. "And history has shown, over the last less than six months we've had three officer involved shootings. We don't want people out there enforcing the law unless they're properly trained and properly equipped."

The council said the idea wasn't intended to step on the toes of Binghamton police, but to help out in any way they can.

The council next meets on Wednesday.