For Immediate Release
July 10, 2018
Contact: County Executive Press Office
(631) 853-4000 | Press.Office@suffolkcountyny.gov
COUNTY EXECUTIVE BELLONE, LEGISLATORS, ANIMAL RIGHTS ADVOCATES CALL ON MINORITY CAUCUS TO STOP BLOCKING RENOVATIONS FOR NEW POLICE K-9 FACILITY
Current Facility is at Full Capacity, has Holes in Floor, Roof Leaks, Malfunctioning Plumbing and Inadequate Heating and Cooling for Dogs and Staff
County Executive Bellone: “…These highly-trained canines are critical to the success of the SCPD and are responsible for contributing to Suffolk County’s historically low crime rate. They protect our officers and residents and have even been injured in the line of duty while performing this critical function of public safety. Today it is our turn to have their backs, to stand up for them, and to say we will not let the minority caucus play politics by refusing to fund a sufficient facility to train and adequately prepare for their mission to keep our officers and residents safe."
Earlier today, County Executive Steve Bellone joined with Legislator Rob Calarco, Legislator Monica Martinez and Animal Rights Advocates to demand GOP Legislators withdraw their opposition to funding the planning of a new Suffolk County Police Department K-9 facility, a project that the SCPD deems critical to the safety of the K-9 officers, handlers and training staff.
The current structure, which is more than 30 years old, has a roof that leaks, holes in the floor, inadequate air conditioning and heating, malfunctioning plumbing, and rotting along the exterior walls. The funding for this project was presented to the Legislature in May as a stand-alone bond, and once again the Minority Caucus failed to approve the bond even though they had already voted to approve the project.
VIDEO of the County Executive's remarks is available in TV quality format here.
B-ROLL from the facility is available in TV quality here.
PHOTOS of the event are available on County Executive’s Flickr page.
A rush transcript of the County Executive’s remarks is available below:
County Executive Bellone: I want to thank everyone for their support on this issue. We understand very simply that this facility is critical for public safety in our county and it’s the right thing to do.
So why is the minority caucus voting against this? Well, they come up with a number of different excuses. They said that they want the bonds to be unbundled. That’s the excuse they’ve been using. Well this bond was not bundled. It was a stand-alone bond. They voted against it.
Well, then they say they want to see it done in-house (by the Suffolk County Department of Public Works.) Well the department already indicated clearly, that with this specialized facility, it neither has the capability to do this in-house nor the time. There’s a backlog of projects that would push this back years.
They keep on coming out different excuses why they’re not voting for these bonds. They say also, well you know we don’t want to vote for the planning. Well, we have a dozen planning bonds that they have voted for over the last year, including one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to redo the façade at the Vanderbilt Planetarium.
When you look through all the excuses and you get past all of that, what this comes down to is pure and simple. It’s politics. This is about politics and what we’re urging our colleagues here is put the politics aside and let’s work together to fund these critical project for our county and for the citizens we represent.
I can’t think of one that is more critical than a facility to house these K-9 dogs and our officers who are out there risking their lives each and every day.