August 1st, 2012
Legislator Perez rides along with Yonkers police during night patrol
Westchester County Legislator Virginia Perez
YONKERS - In an effort to get a better understanding of law enforcement issues and a closer look at public safety measures in her legislative district, Westchester County Legislator Virginia Perez (D-Yonkers) recently participated in a “ride along” with the Yonkers Police Department.
“Yonkers police officers are dealing with a lot of incredible things happening on a daily basis, and I wanted to see first-hand what a typical shift would be like,” said Perez, who is chair of the Westchester County Board of Legislators’ Public Safety and Security Committee. “A lot of what occurs is never mentioned in the media, whether it is small domestic disputes or violent gang-related crimes. The officers’ professionalism and genuine concern impressed me. These patrol officers definitely deter crime and their work has a large impact in the community.”
In her “ride along,” Perez saw Yonkers police officers respond to domestic violence, gang fights, a stabbing and checks of vehicles, as well as drug deals. In all, she was with the patrol officer for the entire 3 - 11 p.m. shift.
“In southwest Yonkers, I saw a community that is struggling financially and a society that for some reason finds it difficult to cooperate with the police officers that were placed there to protect them,” remarked Perez. “One of the things that shocked me the most was when we responded to an emergency call and arrived at the scene to see a woman bleeding from knife wounds, she refused to cooperate with the police and was already actively organizing a plot for retaliation.
“When I was sworn into office I took an oath to follow the laws of Westchester and also protect and defend my community and my constituents. In order for us to bring about a positive change, we must work together to break the cycle of senseless violence in our communities. This experience has allowed me to gain some perspective from those men and women who put their lives on the line for our safety and security. I have a greater respect for Yonkers’ bravest and the work that they do, and I hope that our residents can join us in the fight against violence so we can make our community safer for residents and business owners.”