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- EFFECTIVE IN CHEMUNG COUNTY, NY UNTIL 2/14/2016 1:00 PM EST
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Update to Police Cuts in Bath
Written By: Samantha Potter
BATH (WENY) – The Bath Police Chief suddenly announced his resignation at Monday night's board meeting - and today says tax-exempt properties are to blame for budget constraints that led to an investigator losing her job.
Last night, residents spoke out against the Village board's decision - saying the cuts leave them feeling vulnerable. Just as village trustees were about to discuss cuts, Police Chief David Rouse who has served as chief for 18 years unexpectedly announced he will be retiring.
“They say you know when its your time and I never would have believed that. I had a number of my friends over the years say to me, one morning you'll wake up and say this is it. And that happened on July 25th,” says Rouse.
Chief Rouse says the problem lies within the large amount of tax exempt properties in the village, including non for profits. Some of which are the source of calls into the police department. “Perhaps there needs to be a change in legislation at the state level to put limits on these non for profits because these are the one requires a lot of our services,” explains Rouse.
After an hour long executive session the Board announced late Monday night they will be cutting the criminal investigators position within the next month. That position was held by Heather Berry, who also worked as a key drug investigator in Steuben County.
Berry will be move to uniformed road patrol.
Once these changes take effect, the Bath Police will have a total of eight officers working on the streets and one police chief. Chief Rouse assures residents there will still be 24-hours of police coverage.