Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Private Police Deal in NH - A 3rd Angle . . .

We sometimes say we would like government to be run more like a business. It occurred to me that, with these police "protection" contracts the New Hartford Police Department is getting into with the mall, the cinemas and hospital, the NHPD has gone into the private security business.

Businesses sell their services to grow and, if they know what they're doing, increase profits. NHPD seems to be doing the same thing, trying to grow its business while competing with private firms.

But, unlike a business, Town Police are not subject to market forces that private businesses are subject to . . . the forces that drive businesses toward efficiency . . . the forces that will put a business OUT of business if it cannot compete.

Unlike a REAL business, the Town Police can simply hit up the taxpayer for more money instead of becoming more efficient. It can simply hit up the taxpayer for benefits and perks that a private security business might not be able to provide and, based on the posts on NH Online the last couple days, seems to be doing exactly that.

Town Government is NOT a business . . .

The fact that the NHPD seems to be "growing" its "business" by selling services to private entities suggests that NHPD is far bigger than it needs to be, and needs to be downsized.

If the officers involved want to go into the private security business, they should to it on their own time and on their own dime.

. . . and if they choose such a route of being on their own time and dime, they STILL are bound by ethics regulations not to do anything that would conflict with their official duties.


Arkangel said...


Is it true that Chief Philo has been having discussions with St. Elizabeth's Hospital Management to provide private police services using on-duty town of new hartford police officers?

Is it also true that these officers will be receiving overtime for their services being performed in the hospital's psychiatric ward?

Is it also true that the cost of these private services will be offset (subsidized) by town of new hartford residents?

Is it also true that NYS law does not allow a police unit to cross municipal boundaries?

Thank you.


Strikeslip said...

Arkangel -- I don't know if what you say is real or just a rumor.

Are you speaking of St. E's in Utica or the new facility in NH?

In either case, I would question the statutory authority of the Town PD to do so, though it is more questionable if in Utica.

I'm no muni law expert, but doubt that there would be any arrest authority in Utica absent an intermunicpal agreement.

If you have any info on this situation beyond rumor, please e-mail it to me.