- Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 July 2015 18:12
Local governments can save money by accessing the county's Public Safety services.
The Department of Public Safety is an ever-present resource for local law enforcement in Westchester County. Each year, officers from the county police provide many thousands of hours of support to municipal police departments across Westchester. The county police maintain an Aviation Unit, Bomb Squad and other specialized resources to spare each municipal department the expense of maintaining its own. Our Forensic Investigation Unit is available 24/7 to any police agency in Westchester to process crimes scenes, collect latent prints and preserve key evidence of criminal activity.
Local governments, schools and special districts looking to save money should review the array of shared services offerings we offer below. We have programs and the expertise to save taxpayer dollars and urge you to check them out. If you're looking for other possible savings, go to our countywide shared services section.
|Patrol Services Division||
The uniformed officers of the Patrol Services Division are the most visible public presence of the county police – patrolling the county’s parkways, parks and public buildings. Lesser known is that patrol officers are frequently called to assist Westchester’s municipal police agencies in a variety of ways, including during motor vehicle stops and searches for fleeing suspects, for emergency crowd control and at DWI checkpoints and other targeted enforcement initiatives in local communities.
In addition, the ranks of the PSD include Breath Test Operators and Drug Recognition Experts (used to process arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs), and Accident Investigators and Accident Reconstructionists. The services of these experts are often sought by their colleagues in local law enforcement.
|Investigative Services Division||
Detectives in a variety of units within the ISD provide specialized assistance upon request to municipal police agencies for problematic, large-scale or complex investigations.
|General Investigations Unit||
The specially trained members of the GIU provide technical and investigative assistance to local agencies in the more complicated aspects of criminal investigations, including sex crimes, homicide investigations, cold case and unsolved homicides, deception analysis, electronic surveillance, financial investigations and other long term or major case investigations.
|Crime Analysis Unit||
The CAU serves as the county and regional law enforcement intelligence and information hub, connecting more than 100 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in and surrounding Westchester County.
CAU plays a critical role in disseminating information necessary to identify pattern crimes and suspects, and issuing the latest bulletins on criminal investigation methods and techniques. CAU holds a monthly intelligence-sharing meeting to facilitate the exchange of information between the numerous police agencies in and around the county.
|Narcotics Unit||The Narcotics Unit regularly conducts joint investigations in local jurisdictions in the battle against drug use and distribution. Undercover officers are a key resource provided by the county police to assist local drug investigations.|
|Forensic Investigative Unit||
Each day, detectives from municipal police departments bring evidence to the Forensic Investigation Unit, which provides expert analysis and testimony in the forensic disciplines of ballistics, crime scene, digital evidence and latent prints. In addition, the crime scene team is always available to respond to any municipality in Westchester to process crime scenes and preserve and collect critical evidence.
FIU is recognized as a public forensic laboratory under New York State Executive Law and is accredited by the New York State Commission on Forensic Science and the American Society of Crime Lab Directors. The unit’s Digital Evidence Section is the only crime lab in New York State accredited in this discipline. Investigators assigned to the Digital Evidence Section assist local law enforcement by conducting a forensic examination of computers, cell phones and other electronic storage devices that might contain evidence of criminal activity.
FIU also provides the administration and support for the Westchester County Repository for Integrated Criminalistic Imaging online booking and database systems. These systems serve more than 35 local law enforcement agencies. The R.I.C.I. network allows these agencies to track persons arrested for crimes and share information including photographs, palm and fingerprint images, and pedigree information of these persons.
The WFU works to locate people who are wanted on warrants issued by Westchester County Criminal Court and Westchester County Family Court. These warrants are issued for individuals facing felony, misdemeanor and other charges. WFU detectives search for these suspects regardless of whether the warrant stems from a county police or local police department investigation. This relieves local police of the time and expense of seeking these suspects and closing these warrants.
WFU detectives are also called upon in extradition cases where the defendant is appre-hended by any police department in our county and is wanted by another state, or where a defendant is apprehended in another state and is wanted by Westchester County or any of its municipalities. The Warrant-Fugitive Unit bears the time and expense of transporting such fugitives. Again, such time and expense would fall to local police agencies if this unit did not exist.
|Special Operations Division||The specialized units that comprise the Special Operations Division are also available to assist law enforcement in every Westchester community.|
The Aviation Unit frequently supports local law enforcement to apprehend suspects fleeing crime scenes in vehicles or on foot and to assist in the search for lost or missing children and adults. The unit conducts aerial surveillance and gathers intelligence to assist local investigators in a wide range of criminal investigations.
In addition, the Aviation Unit assists fire departments around Westchester. By using the helicopter’s Bambi bucket, the Aviation Unit can drop water onto a fire. It also can provide aerial surveillance at fire scenes, including a live video feed, to assist fire commanders on the ground to plan the firefighting attack.
|Bomb Squad||The Bomb Squad exists primarily as a service to Westchester’s municipalities. Bomb Squad members safely remove explosive devices and materials, investigate suspicious packages and conduct security sweeps of schools and other public facilities. Bomb Squad members also spend significant time assisting in the follow-up investigations to such incidents. The Bomb Squad responds to local communities to deal with volatile hazardous materials or to remove caches of illegal fireworks. The unit is also trained to respond to a radiological emergency anywhere in Westchester|
|Special Response Team||The Special Response Team is a group of highly trained and specially equipped police officers who respond to emergencies requiring advanced police tactics. The SRT is deployed in high-risk warrant executions, forced building entries, hostage situations, barricaded subjects and other incidents requiring specialized weapons, tactics or equipment. As with all services offered by the county police, the SRT is available to all law enforcement agencies in the county.|
|Marine Unit||The Marine Unit helps to secure the waterfront of Hudson River communities and assists local communities in providing security at fireworks displays, festivals and other community events that take place along the river. The Marine Unit patrol boat has also been utilized by local law enforcement in a variety of investigations.|
|Canine Unit||The officers and specially trained canines of the Canine Unit are often called upon to assist other police agencies in Westchester. The unit’s Bloodhounds are trained to track lost people or fleeing suspects while the unit’s Labradors are trained as Narcotics Detection Canines or Explosives Detection Canines|
|Communications Unit||The Communications Unit has assumed responsibility for the installation and maintenance of the Westchester County Police Mutual Assistance Radio System within Westchester County. The system serves two important functions: as a backup to the telephone“hot line” linking police agencies and as an interoperability channel to allow direct communication among law enforcement agencies during a large-scale emergency. In addition, the Communications Unit maintains the county police Mobile Command Post, a sophisticated communications vehicle that is also available on request to any local police department.|
|Pistol License Unit||The Pistol License Unit handles the vast majority of applications and required background checks for persons in Westchester seeking handgun permits, dealer licenses and gunsmith licenses. This saves local police agencies the time and expense of processing hundreds of these applications annually|
|Environment Study Unit||Environmental Security Unit investigators are available to assist municipalities and local police with investigations that involve violations of environmental law.|
|Intelligence, Security and Counter-Terrorism Unit||
The Intelligence, Security and Counter-Terrorism Unit coordinates federal counter-terrorism grants for the 43 police chiefs in Westchester. These grants have totaled more than $16 million since 2004.
In addition the director of ISCTU; acts as the resident technical advisor to all chiefs of police on issues involving terrorism deterrence; develops and recommends security programs for implementation countywide in response to mandates or guidance from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and state Office of Homeland Security; acts as liaison for local chiefs of police with federal, state and other county agencies regarding counter-terrorism and security; serves as the point of contact for corporate security directors, including those at critical infrastructure such as Indian Point, telecommunications and utility companies, and other major corporations, on counter-terrorism issues.
|Office of Stop-DWI and Drug Prevention||
The Office of Stop-DWI and Drug Prevention: The Office of Stop-DWI and Drug Prevention works closely with municipalities in Westchester to minimize alcohol and drug abuse and reduce related injuries and traffic fatalities. The STOP-DWI program’s Patrol Project, for example, coordinates joint enforcement activities and reimburses municipalities for added DWI patrols and sobriety checkpoints. In 2008, more than $300,000 was allocated to reimburse local police departments for overtime incurred to enforce DWI laws. In addition, the STOP-DWI program supports and funds the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing training given to police recruits and veteran officers from departments around the county.
The office is also involved in numerous public education initiatives in Westchester communities that teach middle school, high school and college students about the hazards of alcohol and drugs. The driving simulator is brought to local high schools to give students hands-on proof that a motor vehicle can’t be operated safely when a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And Operation Safe Prom is a partnership between the county and local communities to reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents during prom season
|Office of Professional Responsibility and Special Investigations||The Office of Professional Responsibility and Special Investigations is responsible for investigating civilian complaints as well as allegations of criminal or other serious misconduct in any county agency. OPRSIU is available to conduct such investigations for municipalities when there is the appearance of a conflict of interest and outside investigators are desired.|
|Public Safety Emergency Force||The Public Safety Emergency Force is an all-volunteer specialized unit in the Westchester County Department of Public Safety. Trained and equipped by the county police, the emergency force is comprised of part-time Deputy Sheriffs who are duly sworn peace officers and possess those powers to carry out their duties. The PSEF provides assistance, upon request, to town, village and city police departments with regard to traffic and crowd control at special events such as parades, street fairs and fireworks celebrations. On average, the PSEF contributes more than 4,000 hours of service each year in local communities.|