Bracco visions a county-wide community response team

By Kelly McCarthy

July 28, 2014 Updated Jul 28, 2014 at 6:31 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Democratic candidate for Broome County Sheriff said he will implement a completely new policing model if elected.

Binghamton Police Captain Chris Bracco gave the community a first look at his plans Monday morning. Bracco has a vision to bring law enforcement and the community closer together.

"We should not accept the status quo and police our community the same way we did 15 years ago," he said.

Bracco said the Broome County Sheriff's Office should transition from the current policing strategy to a community policing model. That includes putting a deputy in each town to take care of the more rural areas of Broome County.

"These deputies will attend town meetings and community events," Bracco said. "The deputy will be the voice of the town."

Bracco is also calling for the creation of a county-wide community response team. Just as Binghamton Police have adopted, a CRT (community response team) would put more deputies out in neighborhoods and patrolling the streets.

"The initiative will direct specific resources to an area to reduce crime providing needed relief to neighborhoods plagued by persistent problems," Bracco said.

Bracco contributes drugs as a driving force of crime in Broome County. He's pushing for a "drug interdiction initiative" at the county gateway points.

"We know the drugs are not being produced here in Broome County," he said. "We know where they're coming from."

To stop the flow of drugs from coming into Broome County, Bracco wants to add narcotics detection dogs and plain clothed patrol officers at bus terminals and on highways.

Bracco is running against Republican incumbent Sheriff David Harder.

"It all boils down to money. It's just all these ideas he has, they're great ideas, we've had those ideas for years, but where is the funding coming from?" Sheriff Harder said. "Who's going to pay for all this?"

Harder said the Sheriff must oversee more than just law enforcement including a correctional facility and civil duties and the yearly budgets must reflect that.