Mount Vernon mayor blames City Council for police shortage

Posted: Updated:
MOUNT VERNON -

The mayor of Mount Vernon is placing the blame for the city's police shortage on the City Council. 

Mayor Richard Thomas is accusing the council of under-funding the police department, causing a shortage of officers and lack of a police commissioner. The mayor called a meeting Friday with the police department's top brass to address the issue.

"We are adding more and more stress on our officers in a demanding city," says Shawn Harris, the acting police commissioner in Mount Vernon.

While the mayor is pointing fingers at the City Council, members of the council are firing back at him. Council members say the mayor is playing politics with public safety.

Councilman Marcus Griffith says he firmly believes the city has enough officers and feels the mayor is attacking him because he doesn't want him re-elected in November.

Griffith also maintains that when the mayor finds the right person to become the police commissioner, the City Council will fund that person.

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