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Stanford proposes hiring Pine Plains police

STANFORD —  The Town of Stanford is considering a proposal to hire officers from the Pine Plains Police Department to patrol the roads in town. 

“The intent is not to punish Stanford residents, but to make the roads safer for everyone,” according to Stanford Town Supervisor Wendy Burton. “The process began as we have had an ongoing problem with serious speeding in town for many years,” said Burton. 

Over the years the town has asked that the state lower the speed limits on State Route 82, the main road through Stanford, but the New York State Department of Transportation has refused.

Dutchess Counties sheriffs and the New York State Police patrol Stanford, but there is no set schedule and speeding continues. At the August town board meeting, which Pine Plains officers John Hughes, who is the officer in charge in Pine Plains, and Sgt. Mike Beliveau attended to answer resident’s questions, many town residents said that they felt walking, running and biking along the roads was dangerous due to the speeding drivers. There was concern about school children getting on and off buses and some residents have seen drivers going through stop signs without stopping. 

Stanford is proposing a trial period of three months, after which it will evaluate the effectiveness of having the Pine Plains officers in town. To begin with, the officers will do four shifts of four hours each with one officer per shift. Besides watching for speeders, the officers will respond to emergencies and help with events like parades and celebrations. At the August town board meeting, Beliveau mentioned that emergency response time could be cut in half.

Burton said, “that the service would end up paying for itself” with the tickets written out for speeding. She emphasized that “The intent was not financial, but for safety reasons alone.”

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