Rennia announces public safety plan

By Perry Russom

June 26, 2013 Updated Jun 26, 2013 at 9:52 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton mayoral candidate Teri Rennia said she wants to improve public safety by changing up current practices.

Tuesday, the democrat who's running unopposed in her party, announced her "5 Point Public Safety Plan."

"Let me be clear, I will not reduce public safety," said Rennia, who is currently Binghamton City Council president. "I will not reduce fire and I will not reduce Police."

The five point plan includes:
(1) No reductions in public safety personnel.
(2) Working with public safety departments to identify creative, effective and efficient ways for providing services.
(3) Seeking all sources of revenue to help maintain and grow current Public Safety Programs including CDBG and other grants.
(4) Working closely with community groups and public safety departments to establish increased community policing.
(5) Explore, develop and implement programs, to address the juvenile justice needs in our community.

"Because I've been on council, because I've worked with the budgets for seven years, I know first hand the challenges of maintaining these departments," said Rennia. "I also know that we can do it."

While Rennia kept her ideas broad, she says her plan will make Binghamton public safety the most effective and efficient in the area.

Right now, the Binghamton Police Department is made up of 128 officers; the city's fire department employs 118.

"I don't think maintaining police levels at just over 100 after the department has been essentially gutted is what we need to do," said Rich David, Republican mayoral candidate. "We need to put more officers on the street."

Republican candidate Ed Hickey said in an email no reduction in emergency workers should ever be considered.

He shot down Rennia's plans of having creative, effective and efficient ways of providing services.

"Working with department heads to identify creative, efficient (sic) and efficient ways of providing services is political speak for 'we'll put it off,'" Hickey wrote in an email.

Republican mayoral candidate Douglas Walter Drazen asked why Rennia doesn't have creative ideas already.

Drazen said Rennia has had her time to make change in Binghamton's city government and talking time is over.

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