Supervisor Gromack Requests State Funding to Increase Police Personnel at Large Malls Across the State
Including Palisades Center Mall and the Shops at Nanuet
(New City, NY) – Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack has announced his proposal to request state funding to provide more police personnel to malls over 750,000 square feet. The Town of Clarkstown is home to the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack and the Shops at Nanuet in Nanuet. Together these two malls consist of over 2.6 million square feet and draw approximately 34 million visitors a year. The Palisades Center Mall is the second largest shopping mall in the New York metropolitan area and the 11th largest in the United States.
Providing increased protection and services to these centers is extremely expensive, labor intensive, and requires constant planning and strategizing. The cost to municipalities, like Clarkstown, far exceeds the real estate and sales tax generated by these properties. The County of Rockland shares very little sales tax with the towns and villages.
In light of the recent terrorist threats by Al-Shabaab, a terrorist group linked with Al-Qaida, the Town of Clarkstown and the Clarkstown Police Department are putting even more resources into protecting its citizens, businesses, and visitors of these two large malls.
“The threat of a terrorist attacks on our malls in New York State and throughout the United States is something we have to live with and plan for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Supervisor Gromack. “While the Clarkstown Police Department dedicates a good amount of resources, both financial and personnel to the malls, our budgets can only be stretched so far. Funding assistance from the state would allow us to build upon these commitments.”
Supervisor Gromack is asking state officials to provide funding “earmarked” in the state budget to assist local municipalities that have malls over 750,000, such as the Palisades Center Mall and the Shops at Nanuet, in their community. There are 41 malls in New York State that are 750,000 square feet or more. Supervisor Gromack is calling for a yearly state expenditure of $94.5 million, $2 million for malls up to 1 million square feet and 2.5 million for malls more than 1 million square feet.
“The primary need for state funding is to provide more police personnel on site at our malls,” said Supervisor Gromack. “The times we live in have changed and we need to strengthen our focus on securing these types of large shopping and entertainment destinations across the state.”
Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan said, “As we see an increase in terrorist threats around the world and as the federal intelligence agencies report an increase of threats against our home land, we have been reviewing our security requirements at our local malls within the town. In order to properly prepare and implement security measures that ensure the utmost safety and security for our citizens, we have had to endure an increase in costs to the town. This proposal, brought forward by Supervisor Alex Gromack, would allow us to supplement current security measures at the malls with additional police personnel at the Palisades Center Mall and the Shops at Nanuet. We hope that this proposal will carry forward in the State process and adequate funding will be provided for this all important issue.”
Ray Laschet, Clarkstown PBA President said, “The Clarkstown PBA would like to thank Supervisor Gromack for submitting this request for funds from the State to better support the financial needs of the department in maintaining a high level of security at both the Palisades Center Mall and the Shops at Nanuet. The Clarkstown PBA members are devoted to ensuring the safety and security of all who shop at these locations. These funds would help pay for the high costs associated with providing additional levels of security.”