Jewishupdates's Blog

December 28, 2009

NYS Troopers Tell Post: Paterson Uses Extra Security For ‘Political’ Reasons

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 6:10 pm

NYS Troopers Tell Post: Paterson Uses Extra Security For ‘Political’ Reasons

Gov. Paterson’s security detail has been doubled in the last year for what are being called “political” reasons, and is now bigger than the entire State Police force patrolling Long Island, troopers have told The Post.

“The governor wants to have an entourage — three or four cars — wherever he goes because he thinks it makes him look more gubernatorial, it helps him politically,” contended a senior official with firsthand knowledge of the situation.

Thomas Mungeer, president of the State Troopers Police Benevolent Association, said that while Paterson has been cutting the State Police because of Albany’s worsening budget crisis, he’s been increasing protection for himself.

“Despite the inadequate manpower due to attrition and requests for help by municipalities, the governor has reassigned road troopers to the detail assigned to protect him and his entourage, increasing the size of that detail to more than 200 members,” according to Mungeer.

“The governor and the leaders of the State Police would never publicly admit that this agency is understaffed, but we’re here to tell you what they won’t,” continued Mungeer, who plans to accuse Paterson in a statement today of “disregarding public safety.”

Paterson’s security force has grown from approximately 100 officers to over 200 since he took office in March 2008, a PBA official said.

“They’ve taken what had been an elite, highly sought-after position and made it into a detail where people are actually being drafted into it who don’t want to go,” PBA spokesman Gordon Warnock continued.

“It’s ridiculous that when we only have 150 troopers patrolling all of Long Island, he has over 200 troopers assigned to him. It’s really amazing,” Warnock continued.

“We understand the difficult economic situation. We’re not blind to it.” Warnock said. “It’s just that if the governor has to make cuts, he has to do them intelligently.”

Paterson spokesman Peter Kauffmann contended the size of the governor’s security detail had been “cut down significantly from [former Gov. George] Pataki levels,” although he conceded that it “was expanded” under Paterson after Gov. Eliot Spitzer left office.

He said the PBA was one of a number of special interests “trying to score political points against the governor for making the tough calls — special interests whose appetite for increased spending is responsible in part for the state’s fiscal crisis.”

The Post disclosed in August 2008 that Paterson had added 45 troopers to his security detail even as he had begun to warn that the state’s budget was seriously out of balance.

(More AtNY Post)


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