Ah, the collector's edition of the March 17, 2011 Hudson Valley News. I get a tad teary-eyed when I read it.

Not that I'm one to repeat or spread rumors, but I had to post this in regards to what one person commented about Goddard being 'creepy.' From what I heard, when Goddard was an officer in the 1990's, he had a penchant for going into gas stations and convenient stores and 'borrowing' the adult reading/viewing material for a short period of time and then returning it (so rumor has it)...all done while in uniform. Okay, that is beyond C-R-E-E-P-Y.
I found this gem of an article in a previous article in the HV News, written by ex-chief Don Goddard, the same Don Goddard that is the subject of the blog about a police officer who alledgedly falsified official documents. I could add that the Hyde Park Police do deserve better and it seems that they did given the current Police Chief that is a professional.

HYDE PARK POLICE DESERVE BETTER BY DON GODDARD A recent article in the Hudson Valley News stated that crime in Hyde Park is rising. While this is both true and unfortunate for the people of Hyde Park, studies have shown very little, if any, correlation between crime rates and economic conditions as was indicated in the article. Studies have shown, however, a possible strong correlation between crime rates and the number of officers visible on patrol. More officers on the street may not prevent all crime from occurring, but it goes a long way toward taking away the opportunity for criminals to engage in illegal conduct. This, rather than the current economic downturn, may be the reason for increased crime in Hyde Park and may also point toward a possible solution. Unfortunately for Hyde Park residents, the current town board is doing nothing constructive to address this problem and is, in fact, only making matters worse. Instead of hiring cops, they are hiring clerks and comptrollers, and instead of moving forward on a new police/court facility, they are spending money on the town hall and roads and are pouring money into the hands of the town attorney faster than oil coming out of a ruptured bp well. That is all fine and dandy if money is no problem, but in a time of budgetary constraints, one would hope public safety would be served first. If someone has to wait an extra five minutes to get a dog license at the town clerk’s office, it’s probably not a matter of life and death. The same can’t be said when it comes to public safety as oftentimes every minute does count. The Hyde Park Police handle approximately 15,000 calls for service each year and I know from witnessing it firsthand that their quick response has indeed mattered and made a difference. The current board needs to take their collective heads out of the sand and accept that Hyde Park is an active, busy town and instead of assigning officers to town board meetings, they should put them on the street where their presence really matters. There is nothing new about the level of crime in Hyde Park, and anyone who reads the police blotter published by this paper would realize this. Perhaps rather than forbidding town employees from reading this paper, as rumor has it, the town supervisor should provide a link from the town’s web page so people stay informed and know what is going on in their community.

Quote of the week

The current town board needs to begin taking steps to provide the police with the resources and manpower needed to serve and protect the community before an officer or citizen gets seriously injured. The first step this board can take is to stop pretending to know the first thing about running a police department and start listening to what their new chief has to say. In short, just shut up and listen for once. While I have never met or spoken with the new chief, every indication is that he is a decent person, a capable administrator and very well respected by the men and women of the department. I would only have to question his thought process in going along with such a hare-brained scheme put forward by the town supervisor to make his position part-time. In no other department of similar size or activity would such an arrangement have been acceptable, nor would the elimination of the department’s only lieutenant position ever be taken seriously. This is what happens when elected officials put politics over people – it clouds their already-limited ability to reason and think clearly. Fortunately for the people of Hyde Park and the dedicated members of the police department, at least the new chief has had what appears to be a moment of clarity and will no longer accept this nutty arrangement. The current town board, with the exception of Councilwoman Sue Serino, has no experience in running an organization or successful business and should pay attention to those with a proven track record of doing so. They have consistently displayed an egregious disdain for input, advice and constructive criticism and with regard to public safety, they do so at their own peril. Hopefully, they will not make this mistake with the new chief, who has the proven track record and ability to bring the Hyde Park Police Department to a new level of professionalism. As former chief, I wish him well and hope he is able to work out an agreement with the current town board to become permanent and full time.

Don Goddard is former provisional chief of the Hyde Park Police Department. Respond to this column at editorial@thehudsonvalleynews.Com.

I would like to make some points in disagreement with his opinion.

1) Mr. Goddard stated that there is a little to none in the relation between crime and the ecomony, however, there ARE studies that do correlate economic conditions with crime. However, one must also keep in mind that there are many variables that influence why crimes are committed and yes, economic conditions do contribute to crime rates. Perhaps Mr. Goddard should take a class in Criminology.

The following are just two articles supporting the correlation between crime and the economy:



2) So Mr. Goddard's statement about putting money into Town Hall can be interpreted that the employees and visitors to Town Hall as well as the structural integrity of the building itself are not important. The leaking roof was replaced as well as the heating system that was leaking carbon monoxide. And how about the safety of motorists driving on town roads that are in need of repair? Is that not considered equally as important?

3) He is in essence; stating that hiring a Comptroller was a mistake. In light of the recent discoveries of the previous bookkeeper's apparent inability to maintain accurate records of the town's finances, he should be biting his tongue.

4) For the past twenty (20) years, the Hyde Park police had been operating on a radio system that had been donated by a water company because it was outdated. This radio system did not have reception in areas of Hyde Park potentially putting the lives of officers at risk. Mr. Goddard had been using this system while employed as an officer and it was still in use at the time he was named the provisional chief. Why didn't he bring this to the attention of the previous and current town boards if he was so concerned about safety? The defunct radio system was replaced through money that was allocated by the current Town Board when they were made aware due to an incident when an officer was assaulted during a call and was unable to contact the dispatcher. Request for assistance to the scene was made through a 911 call from a bystander.

5) I published a blog concerning Sue Serino's performance as a Town Board member after reading through all the minutes posted on the town's website. She has missed more meetings than all of the other members combined, has stated she was unprepared on proposed resolutions and did not have the time to execute some of the duties of her position. Is this Goddard's idea of competent management?