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Westchester County Police Today

The Westchester County Department of Public Safety was created on July 1, 1979 via the merger of the Westchester County Sheriff’s Department and the Westchester County Parkway Police. The department continues to forge its own identity while preserving the traditions of excellence set by its two predecessor agencies.The agency is currently comprised of approximately 300 sworn officers supported by a staff of roughly 50 civilian employees.

The following entities within the department actively make their services and support available to outside police agencies within the county:

The history of the Westchester County Sheriff’s Department has roots dating all the way back to 1683 when Benjamin Collier, the first sheriff, was appointed by the governor and council of New York. Sheriffs continued to be appointed by the governor until 1846, when the New York State Constitution established provisions for popular election of sheriffs. That year, James M. Bates of Bedford was the first person to be elected to the position of Westchester County Sheriff.

 

The Sheriff’s department was responsible for investigative activities covering a wide variety of areas. The agency’s investigatorial jurisdiction included major crimes, high profile cases, and organized crime control. Vice investigations—gambling, narcotics, pornography, and prostitution—were also an area of specialty for sheriff’s investigators. 

 

The Westchester County Department of Public Safety was created on July 1, 1979 via the merger of the Westchester County Sheriff’s Department and the Westchester County Parkway Police. The department continues to forge its own identity while preserving the traditions of excellence set by its two predecessor agencies.The agency is currently comprised of approximately 300 sworn officers supported by a staff of roughly 50 civilian employees.

 

As with most police agencies, patrol operations represent the backbone of the Westchester County Police. Maintaining the standards and traditions of the Parkway Police, the primary responsibility of the patrol division is highway patrol. The department provides police services on four vital Westchester County thoroughfares: the Bronx River, Cross County, Saw Mill River, and Hutchinson River Parkways.

 

The County Police also provide patrol services at the Westchester County Airport, County Parks including Playland Park in Rye, offices of the county’s Department of Social Services, and other county owned buildings and facilities.

 

The County Police also provide patrols in the Town of Cortlandt, and the Town/Village of Mt. Kisco.

Drawing from the roots of the Sheriff’s Department, the Westchester County Police Department fields a number of highly effective Investigative units. In addition to a general investigations unit, the department fields units tasked to Ballistics, Narcotics, Warrants, and Major Cases.

In addition to patrol operations and investigative units, the department also maintains a number of specialized outfits. These include the Bomb Squad, Aviation and Marine Units, and a tactical response team. The Special Operations Division is also responsible for the administration of the Westchester County Police Academy.

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