Common council candidate questions why Utica crime-fighting vehicle remains parked

Utica's police chief told him why it's never been made operational.

Posted: Jun 11, 2019 5:49 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- A Utica Common Council candidate wants to know why what was supposed to be the city's second 'Armadillo,' crime-fighting vehicle has been sitting in the back of Valley View Golf Course for several years.

Fourth-Ward common council candidate, John Mirante, wants to know why the city has yet to put the surveillance vehicle on the road, and offered potential ways to pay to put it on the road.

Utica's police chief told him why it's never been made operational.

"There are also cheaper ways of doing it. Have BOCES do it, OK? Have the kids do it,” Mirante said. "We could have public donations, CDBG money."

"The reason why we never moved forward with that is a few months later, we wound up suffering 23 budget cuts of police officers. And I think we lost another four civilians on top of that, to layoffs," said Utica Police Chief Mark Williams.

Mirante's name will appear on the ballot in November. Frank Meola and Fred Bruzzese are facing off in the June 25 Democratic primary.

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