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Scarsdale Police Chief: Hurricane Sandy Response Went Well

Scarsdale Police Chief John Brogan addressed residents at the Board of Trustees meeting
Scarsdale Police Chief John Brogan addressed residents at the Board of Trustees meeting Photo Credit: File

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – While the Scarsdale Village Manager’s office continues to work on a comprehensive action report in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Police Chief John Brogan gave an oral report on his department’s response at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

From Oct. 29, when the storm struck, through Nov. 5, when the village began to feel relief, the police fielded 3,300 phone calls from residents seeking assistance. Three underground copper wires remained in operation through the entire event. Lightpath forwarded non-emergency calls to one; the second was for incoming and outgoing emergency calls and the third was for faxes that were mainly to forward outages to Con Edison.

Brogan said the staff was doubled to respond to the influx of calls, and three officers were fielding phone calls during the storm. Not a single emergency call failed to be transmitted to police headquarters, and, although the two-way radio system failed at the beginning of the storm, the backup system never went down.

“Available police manpower was placed in quadrants throughout the village. It was a dynamic situation with access routes changing by the minute,” he said. “We also had to have officers at stationary traffic posts where lights went out and had to place officers to monitor the long gas lines for an extended period of time.”

According to the police chief, not a single officer failed to show up for duty during the storm, even though some took as many as four hours to traverse the debris-littered roads. There were no major injuries and no deaths as a result of the storm.

“All police officers showed up for work as scheduled, including those whose homes and families were affected by the storm. They showed up every single day and night during the duration of this event,” Brogan said. “We also completed every welfare check. Not one person that called the Emergency Operation Center was told we didn’t have the resources or manpower.”

Although he said that he believes both the Police Department and village did a good job dealing with one of the worst storms to ever hit the northeast, Brogan acknowledged that there is always room for improvement in these situations.

“Every time an event like this hits, there are things we can do better and ways that we can improve,” he said. “We’re going to take a look over the next couple months and do what we have to do so we can do a better job next time.”

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