FALCONER – The Supervisor of the Town of Ellicott is standing by comments he made when it comes to criticizing the Jamestown Police Department and an alleged policy regarding its response to backup calls outside of the city.
Ellicott supervisor Patrick McLaughlin spoke with WRFA late last week and said that when he mentioned the JPD’s response policy during a recent annexation public hearing, he was referring to an “unofficial” policy he was told about by both his chief of police as well as other members of local law enforcement.
During the hearing, McLaughlin said he was recently made aware that JPD patrol won’t always respond to calls for backup when it comes to incidents occurring outside of the city. Meanwhile, officers with the Ellicott Police Department will regularly come into the city when back up is requested.
McLaughlin also said he stands by his figure that Ellicott Police have responded to more than 700 backup calls in the city of Jamestown since 2012, which were requested by the JPD.
Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings refuted McLaughlin’s claims, saying that since he’s been with the JPD, dating all the way back to 1996, he’s never been made aware of any policy, official or otherwise, regarding JPD officers not responding to a backup call when it is requested outside of its jurisdiction.
McLaughlin said when he made his comments Monday night, he was simply trying to refute the city’s claims that it can provide better police and fire service than Falconer and the Town of Ellicott, when it comes to responding to public safety issues. Jamestown is make the claim as part of its effort to make the case that annexing the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities’ Dow St. Substation in Falconer is in the public’s best interest.
During his comments last week, the Town of Ellicott supervisor suggested that perhaps Ellicott should revisit its own mutual aid policy in response to the alleged “unwritten” JPD response policy.
McLaughlin tells WRFA that despite his comments, it’s unlikely he would actually ever pursue changing the town’s mutual aid policy, and its officers will continue to help Jamestown whenever it is requested. But, he adds that if the town were to lose enough revenue where it would impact the police department, then that is something that could be considered, but in the end the town’s police chief would have the final say, not the superintendent or town board.