TRYING TO DUMB IT DOWN: Kennedy Resolution Dead on Arrival

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Niagara Falls City Councilman Bill Kennedy taking on the role of a police officer during the course of his illustrious acting career.


Kennedy wants to make it easier to become a cop in the Falls; City Council rebukes idea.

A resolution sponsored by Councilman William Kennedy to make it easier for police officers in other municipalities to transfer to the ranks of the Niagara Falls Police Department was pulled by Kennedy for lack of support.

It was basically a non-starter, according to council sources, and Kennedy pulled it to do more study on the issue.

“It was a resolution to tweak the process but there was no support,” says Councilman Chris Voccio.

The Kennedy resolution would amend civil service laws to allow the lateral tansfers to fill vacancies, but Kennedy was the lone supporter.

Police Supt. Tom Licata cited “complex issues” that require more discussion, and the council is expected review the matter in the coming weeks prior to receiving the mayor’s budget at the end of the month which, according to sources, may include police staffing recommendations.

Councilman Ezra Scott, althoug hnot supporting the resolution, stated he would like more information abd investigation into the idea. 

“I believe we also need to discuss the 60 credit hours requirement,” Scott said. “Why do we have that requirement?”

In a study conducted by the National Police Foundation in 2017, which studied 958 agencies, about one third (30.2 percent) of police officers in the United States have a four-year college degree. A little more than half (51.8 percent) have a two-year degree.  5.4 percent have a graduate degree and 12.6 percent have no degree at all. 

If, indeed, the requirements were relaxed for the City of Niagara Falls as suggested, not only would Niagara Falls buck the national trend in terms of a well-educated work force, but it would be counterproductive to community policing, which he has voiced support for in the past, as statistics further show that part of understanding your community is learning about crime and people. 


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