PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- The Village of Port Chester has decided not to apply for a federal grant that would've helped pay for three new police officers because the department would've had to share information about undocumented immigrants to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The Community Oriented Policing Services grant from the Justice Department pays up to 75 percent of an officer's salary and benefits.
Mayor Richard Falanka made the announcement to applause at Wednesday night's village board meeting after many comments urged the village to nix the deal.
"It's hard to live scared every day," Nicole Barros, whose mother is an immigrant, said. "My mother lives in America because she wants a better future for me. It's a big relief that we are still able to trust our police department."
Daniel Vitagliano criticized the decision, saying Port Chester needs more police officers.
"This is a fiscal matter that impacts the public safety of residents," Vitagliano said. "We need more cops and we needed them years ago. By not adding cops, it's always easy to speculate what future crime could've been prevented."