1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Town
  4. Article 10: Police


Section 150 Establishment of town police departments

Town (TWN)

1. The town board of any town may establish a police department and appoint a chief of police and such officers and patrolmen as may be needed and fix their compensation. The compensation of such policemen shall be a town charge; providing however, no assessment on property in any village within any town or partially within any town shall be made for the maintenance or operation of a town police department established after January first, nineteen hundred sixty, pursuant to this section if any such village maintains a police department of four or more policemen on an annual full-time basis, established and maintained under the rules of civil service. The town board may, at its option, determine that the town shall pay all or part of the cost of the uniforms and necessary equipment of its policemen, and may purchase such equipment for use by the police department as it shall deem necessary, including police patrol vehicles, and emergency service vehicles for police use in connection with accidents, public calamities or other emergencies. No assessment on property in any village within any town in the county of Suffolk or in any village within the town of Fallsburgh shall be made for the maintenance or operation of such town police department, if any such village maintains a police department of two or more policemen on an annual basis. In the event that a town has established a police department prior to January first, nineteen hundred sixty, the town board of such town may enter into an agreement with any village within it or partially within it which maintains a police department of four or more policemen on an annual full-time basis, established and maintained under the rules of civil service and determine therein what part of the cost thereof shall be assessed against the property in the village and what part thereof shall be assessed against the property in the town outside of the village. Thereafter such portion of the cost thereof determined to be assessed outside of the village shall be a charge against that part of the town outside of the village and assessed, levied and collected from the taxable property of that part of the town outside of the village. When appointed, such policemen shall be police officers and shall have all the powers and be subject to all the duties and liabilities of a police officer in all criminal actions and proceedings and special proceedings of a criminal nature.

  2. The town board of a town in which such a police department has been established at any time by resolution may establish a board of police commissioners for such town and appoint one or three police commissioners who shall at the time of their appointment and throughout their term of office be electors of such town, and who shall serve without compensation, and at the pleasure of the town board. If the town board shall appoint only one such police commissioner, it shall in addition designate two members of the town board to serve as members of such police commission. The town board may also by resolution designate the supervisor to serve as police commissioner, and when so designated, such supervisor shall have all the powers of and perform the duties of such board of police commissioners. When either of such boards of police commissioners shall have been established or supervisor designated as police commissioner, such board of police commissioners or police commissioner shall have and exercise all the powers relative to police matters conferred upon the town board pursuant to this article. The town board may by resolution at any time abolish such police commission or revoke the designation of such supervisor as police commissioner and thereupon the town board only shall exercise the powers conferred upon it by this article.

  3. The town board of a town, upon establishing or abolishing a police department, shall notify the commissioner of the division of criminal justice services of such action within thirty days thereafter.

  4. Any local law which seeks to abolish a town police department shall be subject to a permissive referendum as provided in article seven of this chapter.