Mt. Vernon adds cops to quell gang violence fears

Mount Vernon is getting a manpower boost in an effort quell fears of growing gang violence.

Mount Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis said 10 officers will be added to increase the size of the police department from 190 to 200. That figure marks the highest number in the department's history. Police Commissioner David Chong said the officers will be made up of new police academy graduates and veterans from other departments.

?Even though statistically crime is down in the city for the first five months of this year, there is a public perception of fear,? Chong said. Davis added, ?We have to respond as to what the public believes to be in their best interest and that's more police on the streets.?

Davis' opponent in the Democratic primary, Westchester County Legislator Clinton Young (D-Mount Vernon), said the latest move by the mayor is designed to win votes.

Chong hopes to have the new officers on the street by December. To view the press conference on increased police presence, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and click on iO Extra.

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