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Yorktown Police Chief: Costco Will Have 'Unfavorable' Impact

Daniel McMahon said he anticipates the project would cause an increase of 106 calls of service annually, which would increase the need for manpower and/or overtime.

The proposal for a 151,092-square-foot Costco retail store available to club members at 3200 Crompond Road, just west of the Taconic State Parkway, has drawn supporters and opponents of the development. 

Yorktown Police Chief Daniel McMahon has said the project would have an "unfavorable" impact in the level of police services and the cost of police service the police department provides. 

The police department, which was established in 1927 and serves 38,000 residents and businesses in the 40 square miles of Yorktown, is located about two and a half miles east of Costco's proposed site. 

In a letter, written about Costco earlier this year, Chief McMahon said the proposed Costco site would increase traffic on Crompond Road and create a need for traffic control equipment and dedicated manpower in the area between Strang Boulevard and Stony Street during weekends and shopping season. 

In addition, McMahon said he anticipates the project would cause an increase of 106 calls of service annually, which would in turn increase the need for manpower and/or overtime. The police department is staffed by 56 officers and 9 civilian personnel. 

Below is McMahon's letter (italics added for visual differentiation from the story):

Based on the type and size of the business we anticipate 106 calls of service annually from the proposed Costco site. This includes the retail business, the gas station and the parking lot. The proposed Costco site will also generate additional "quality of life" calls from the surrounding neighborhoods.

While the population of the town of Yorktown has increased significantly since 1981, the staffing of the Yorktown Police Department has been stagnant. An independent audit of the Yorktown Police Department in 1996 conducted by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) stated that the department was understaffed but the staffing situation has not changed since 1981. 

The proposed Costco will have an unfavorable impact on the policing of the entire town of Yorktown.

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Bill October 18, 2012 at 01:08 PM
So the Yorktown police department is stretched so thin that an extra 2 calls a week is going to require extra manpower or overtime? I think there is a bigger problem there. How many less calls a week do they get at the JV Mall since far fewer people shop there than used to? Also, I spoke to him on Monday night and he told me that many of the calls they get for BJ's are due to trucks idling, presumably from neighbors whose homes are nearby. Given the location of the Costco loading dock (right next to the Taconic in the rear of the property), I don't see that happening with Costco. Also, wouldn't he say this about ANY proposed development in town? Do we let him decide that Yorktown cannot afford to do any further development because the police are overloaded?
paula October 18, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Totally agree with you Bill. Well stated.
Mark Prudenti October 18, 2012 at 01:27 PM
If we really need additional police to handle an additional 106 calls of service annually we might need to restructure our police department. 106 calls annually should not impact our police department in the slightest.
Costco lover October 18, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I never see police cars around BJ's. why should Costco be any different. I also never see delivery trucks going to BJ's. will Costco's deliveries be made during rush hour traffic? I think not! There always has to be sour grape people... I am anxiously waiting for Costco.
Costco lover October 18, 2012 at 01:52 PM
How did the police chief arrive at the 106 calls per year figure?
Bill October 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM
The 106 number comes from the DEIS. When I spoke to the chief on Monday night, he told me that they probably got that number from him. If that is the case, then I would have to imagine that he took the BJ's number (he told me it was 75) and increased it proportionally for the bigger size of the store. That is probably a questionable calculation, especially if the number includes a large number of quality of life calls that won't come in with Costco's loading dock location. In any event, given that 106 does not appear to be a large number (to most people), it did not appear to be a big deal. Perhaps someone should write a letter to the Planning Board and question the validity of the number, or present it at the next hearing.
Sami October 18, 2012 at 02:05 PM
What about when there weren’t so many vacant store fronts in Yorktown? Were they not able to respond to every call then? In a town where we have so little crime, I can’t imagine that the addition of one large store is going to cause the collapse of the police department. And I don’t see how during the 'shopping season' there would be a need to increase manpower for traffic- it’s not a whole shopping center and I don’t think that most people do all their holiday shopping at Costco. If there will be changes to the traffic (turning lanes, etc) why would we need officers directing traffic every weekend?
Robert Surabian October 18, 2012 at 02:36 PM
After reading the Patch and local papers for quite sometime, the Yorktown Police department is a local department that routinely remains under the radar, this is all inline with it being politically incorrect to ever ever be critical of any "first responders". If I were Mr McMahon I'd keep my nose & his dept out of this.
Costco lover October 18, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Ditto
eyesonyorktown October 18, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Maybe he just guessed it. I do know he tossed his officers under a bus.
Bill October 18, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Not even the Costco opponents are going to step up to try to support this. Where's Jennie when we need her, this is right up her alley!
Evan Bray October 18, 2012 at 07:49 PM
No. I think we've just abandoned all hope of having a civilized discussion. Go ahead and badmouth the police department. Do you think he's lying? If someone were to point out that this is just the type of increase in service that has been raised that would offset the nominal tax benefit of the proposal, they'd just be mocked with derisive comments from anons. Have at it. In other news, the Methodist Church is starting AnonCommenters Anonymous, for those addicted to incesant, mean-spirited commenting without revealing who they are. Don't worry, you can hide behind your handles in the meeting. "Hi, I'm eyesonyorktown, and I have a problem..."
Bill October 18, 2012 at 07:58 PM
He says it's currently understaffed and has historically always been understaffed. A single additional call would add to that situation. Any increase in staffing would not be as a result of 2 additional calls per week, it would be as a result of the existing understaffed position. Like the traffic, if this is such an important issue for people, why are they not doing something about it TODAY, even without Costco? Speaking of churches, was the Methodist Church the one that had their picture on a flyer that they were complaining about that night? Whose flyer were they on, the pro- or anti-Costco people? I've never seen it.
Evan Bray October 18, 2012 at 09:34 PM
The state is doing something regardless of whether or not Costco gets approved. That's one of the pesky facts.
Tom October 18, 2012 at 11:36 PM
funny you should mention the JV mall, some recent news for your reading pleasure. building another mall on the 202 stretch will help this situation? is this the future we are building for yorktown? you read stuff like this at the mall on a weekly basis. http://yorktown-somers.patch.com/articles/yorktown-police-investigate-abduction-of-peekskill-man?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001 http://yorktown-somers.patch.com/articles/yorktown-police-investigate-abduction-of-peekskill-man?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001
Active Yorktowner October 19, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Let's break this down...106 calls per year extra=2.03 calls per week. The department has roughly what, 35 patrol officers? I'm not counting Sgts, Lts, etc. So that equates to .058 calls extra per officer. Boo Hoo. That will really stretch the department. Please, this is just another specious argument. Bottom line, Costco is coming, get over it.
Bill October 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM
If you'd bothered to read the articles you would have noticed that he said he had been getting threatening texts for a week. I have no idea of what actually happened but this was clearly not something that happened simply as a result of his being at the mall. And neither this nor State Land (which I'm sure the captain will be a real fan of) is a mall. And please tell us about the other stuff like this that happens at the mall on a weekly basis. I've obviously missed it. The only thing I read about is shoplifting.
Bill October 19, 2012 at 12:43 AM
You mean pesky facts as in you can't use traffic on that stretch of 202 as a reason why Costco shouldn't be approved? As proof that getting people scared about horrendous traffic getting down to the hospital is a non-issue? However, people also complain about the traffic heading west towards the Taconic from town, and the state isn't doing anything about that and it's being left to Costco to fix and pay for. That's a pesky fact as well.
Baddabing October 19, 2012 at 01:08 AM
I've always been in support of the Yorktown PD but the PD Chief's remarks about COSTCO are absurd. If his department cannot handle a possible 2 call increase a week with this project, then I think its time for Mr. Grace to look for a new PD Chief that can allocate his resources appropriately. Is it a ploy to prep the town for some tax monies in the future-set the stage? Possible- Maybe its just better to have the town patrolled by State Troopers like Courtlandt and save even more money. This is just another scare tactic that feeds into the button people, which I like to refer to them as. The truth is they are not smart growth. They are no growth. I didn't see any of the working class for Costco at the meeting hire anyone to speak for them at the meeting. They spoke for themselves. Why? They weren't the rich of Yorktown-they were the regular people concerned about increasing propery taxes. This is the perfect location in town for this business. I take my hat off to the woman that spoke and rightfully so said we can't say no to everything. Wake up Yorktown, if your apathetic and stay home, this small group of button people will be allowed to run your town and keep your taxes high. This is the time to stand up and be counted.
Leo October 19, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Right on Bill...maybe we need a police department who can handle a little extra work...
Yorktown Tattler October 19, 2012 at 02:32 AM
When i first heard McMahon spin this whine, the first thing I thought was that he is slipping.
Yorktown Tattler October 19, 2012 at 02:43 AM
But really, 2 extra phone calls a week and he can't handle it?

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