Owego Neighbors React to Lack of Police Coverage in September

- OWEGO, N.Y (18 NEWS) -- Neighbors in Owego are reacting to last Friday's announcement by the Owego Police Benevolent Association saying the village will be without overnight local police coverage for the month of September.

The Owego PBA said the lapse in coverage is due to the lack of full time staffing for the department.

A Deacon at Owego's First Presbyterian Church, Derek Green, said patrols need to continue in case crime occurs.

"I think the Owego police does a pretty good job, but we need to continue to have those patrols to make sure if there is something that goes on, it needs to get taken care of right away,” said Green.

Raymon Hunsinger has been living in Owego all of his life. He said certain crimes wouldn't have happened in the area in the past if the local police were fully staffed.

“We've got break-ins over on the Eastside of town in cars. If they had the proper number in the Owego Police Department that we should have had....the whole staff...they would have been doing patrols,” said Hunsinger.

Calls made between 11 p.m and 7 a.m throughout the month of September will be handled by the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office or the New York State Police.

Some Owego residents are concerned this may cause a longer response time in the event of an incident.

“It's always been the Owego Police Department. They’ve always been very responsive, so it's a matter of...I would imagine the sheriff's would probably pick it up, but they are coming from a further distance than here, which is centrally located,” said Hunsinger.

A cashier at John's Fine Foods in Owego, Mackenzie Hill, said she previously called the local police when she was followed to her car after work.

However, now Hill says she's afraid she won't get help fast enough if this happens again.

“Walking to my car at night by myself and in the dark....it's very concerning to know that there won't be local police here throughout the nighttime,” said Hill.

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