The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York


Help wanted in Bedford as police officers retire


The Bedford Police Department has begun searching for new officers after seven retirements occurred in 2012, most of which were announced in December.

“Screening candidates is a time-consuming process that takes a number of months,” said Bedford Police Chief William Hayes. “We are able to hire eligible candidates from the civil service list or police officers from other agencies that apply for transfer. It’s important that we only hire the most qualified candidates, so we invest a considerable amount of time and energy in the process.”

Chief Hayes said six officers retired in December, who included Lt. Robert Mazurak, Sgt. Jack Purdy, Sgt. Matthew Dunn, Sgt. Anthony Frasca, Detective Matthew DiBiase and Officer Patrick Lenahan. Another member of the force, Officer John Dunn, retired in April. All of the retiring officers had at least 20 years of experience, with Lt. Mazurak having the most of all of the retiring officers, 30 years.

“I had a wonderful time with Bedford,” Lt. Mazurak said. “It was a pleasant time there, and I’m looking forward to retiring.”

Lt. Mazurak is also a Bedford Village firefighter and member of the board of fire commissioners.

Chief Hayes said two officers were promoted to fill vacancies created by the retiring officers. He said former sergeant Melvin Padilla was promoted to lieutenant and William Smith was promoted to youth officer detective. The chief said the other positions left vacant would be filled as soon as possible.

During negotiations for Bedford’s 2013 budget last month, town supervisor Lee Roberts said at a public hearing that the officers’ retirements was one factor that helped the budget come in under the state-imposed property tax cap, which limits municipalities to increasing their tax levies by no more than 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Chief Hayes said if new officers were hired, there would be cost savings for three years. He said hiring new officers is important to prevent overtime costs.

“Any loss of manpower is taxing on the department’s resources and drives up overtime,” he said. “This is exacerbated by the fact that the department was reduced in size after the economic crisis struck in 2008.”

Danielle Garavito said she knows the retiring officers well through working as a paramedic for Westchester EMS and the Katonah-Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps and because her father is former town supervisor Lawrence E. Dwyer Jr.

“I’ve been on the streets with these guys for the last 20 years,” she said. “They’ve saved a ton of lives. They’ve helped a lot of people. They’re really good at what they do.”

Ms. Garavito said the retiring officers represent a bygone era in which the town’s police officers would interact with residents on a more personal level.

“I remember the days when the cops used to walk the streets and they knew every single person who owned the stores and would call you by name,” she said. “I’m not saying the police officers now don’t do a good job, but we’re missing that now, and we’re missing a core group of guys.”

She said the presence of a police force in Bedford helps paramedics serving Westchester.

“Bedford’s blessed because it’s one of the towns in the local area that has a full-time police force. For me, as a paramedic, that makes a huge difference,” she said. “It’s nice when you go on a call in Bedford and you know a cop is going to show up in a few minutes.”

Tina Foster, a volunteer for the Katonah-Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps, praised the retiring policemen and said that they were very helpful during her 25 years of service.

“We’ve all been together for a long time, we’ve all seen some of the best and the worst,” she said. “We totally relied on these police officers. Each one of them did their job fabulously.”

Ms. Foster said she is concerned that any new officers may not have the same relationship with Bedford as the retiring officers.

“It was all very much of a small town interaction, and I don’t know if that will be lost or not,” she said.

At an advice forum about small business security held by the Katonah Chamber of Commerce last month, Bedford Police Lt. Jeffrey Dickan said the retirements and reductions in the department have limited the types of patrols the officers can perform, but forming relationships with residents can still happen.

“We’ve done that community policing. I’d like to see it more,” he said at the forum. “You want the interaction. The more they open up to you guys and the rest of the residents, the more you’re apt to talk to them.”

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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January 11, 2013

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    

Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    

Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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