NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Niagara Falls Common Council voted Thursday to override Niagara Falls mayor Paul Dyster’s vetoes on the 2018 budget- restoring two of the cuts to local law enforcement.
Dyster vetoed the cuts that were included in the 2018 budget earlier this month, nixing the proposed removal of four Niagara Falls Police positions.
In a 4-1 majority vote, two police officer positions are now gone from the Niagara Falls police department. Several officers sat front row as the city council decided to cut those jobs during a special meeting Thursday.
“They know the task that these officers face on the street everyday it should be of no surprise to them but they chose to do it anyway,” said police chief Bryan DalPorto.
Now the department will be down a patrol and traffic officer – two jobs that wouldn’t have been filled after early retirements at the end of the year.
Mayor Paul Dyster vetoed the council’s decision to get rid of four police positions including two detectives.
In a 3-2 council vote, the detective jobs were saved. There are currently more than 150 police officers in the department, but Chief Bryan DalPorto says the department can’t afford to lose any.
“It’s a big strain. It’s going to be a big strain on the department, it’s going to be a big strain on the officers and it’s going to be a strain on the city,” said DalPorto.
Councilmember Charles Walker says keeping the positions was a financial strain that the city couldn’t afford.
“We got to do business differently. We don’t have $14 or $15 million dollars being thrown at us from the casino anymore we have to figure ways in which we can save dollars and still deliver a good service,” said Councilmember Charles Walker.
Police officers weren’t the only jobs cut. The council also voted to get rid of a few positions within city hall including a IT job.
“We’re looking to try to see if we can find landing places for people whose positions were eliminated so nobody loses a job right before Christmas,” said Mayor Paul Dyster.
Thursday’s meeting was the final step in the budget process. As far as casino money, Mayor Dyster says the arbitration process with the Seneca nation hasn’t started yet but it is expected to soon.