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Yonkers Mayor Spano: Focused On Public Safety

Photo Credit: City of Yonkers

YONKERS, N.Y. – Government has certain basic responsibilities. Chief among them is the responsibility to keep our residents safe. When people feel safe in your community, more businesses open their doors, jobs are created and the economy improves. More families move in, send their kids to school and contribute to the social fabric that make cities like Yonkers such a wonderful place to live, work and play.

Yonkers is one of the safest cities of its size in the entire country, and I’m proud to say that our city – the fourth largest in New York – is becoming even safer. Crime has dropped 30% during the past three years, and the trend continues this year as crime is down 13% since last year.

Our Police Department is continually improving how they use their resources and updating their training. We’re outfitting officers with Tasers, which are equipped with cameras and audio, to improve the ability of our cops to protect their own lives and the public with non-deadly force. We launched the Stop & Shake initiative, a play on the term stop and frisk, encouraging officers and residents to take time to shake hands and get to know each other. And in the upcoming City Budget, I will propose putting eight officers in walking posts so that more cops are walking the beat and more closely interacting with our residents.

I’m proud to report that the Yonkers Fire Department is ranked among the best in the nation, and it’s easy to see why. Just last week they were in the news after safely delivering a baby girl. In a recent insurance industry report, YFD increased its classification from a three to a one, which is the highest you can get. Our Fire Department was also among the first in the nation to use the new LUCAS mechanical CPR device, which have dramatically improved results in cases of cardiac arrests.

I’m committed to seeing that our Police and Fire Departments reflect the diversity of the people they serve, and we’ve made minority recruitment a priority. As a result more minority candidates are taking the police and fire exams and we’ve graduated the most diverse classes in City history.

We’ve launched new initiatives to keep our kids safe. Yonkers was one of the first cities to establish a Child DNA Kit Program, which provides free kits to the public so that parents can store their loved one’s DNA sample and have it readily available for law enforcement in the unlikely case of a missing child. (To obtain a kit, please contact the YPD Community Affairs Division at 914-377-7375).

This school year we unveiled a new School Bus Safety Campaign, placing “How’s My Driving?” bumper stickers on every school bus in Yonkers. The bumper stickers are required to be prominently displayed under a new law passed by our partners on the City Council. The stickers encourage residents to contact the Police Department at 914-377-7900 to report any school bus being operated in an unsafe manner.

Our Police and Fire Departments, together with the outstanding paramedics of Empress Ambulance, provide a level of service that is first class. We’re proud of them and we’re committed to doing everything we can to continue to keep Yonkers safe.

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