Where it is:
The Town of Orangetown is located in Rockland County, New York. It is a triangular shaped area of about 25 square miles and is the southernmost part of New York State on the west side of the Hudson River. The Town of Orangetown is bordered on the south by the State of New Jersey. The easternmost boundary of the town is the Hudson River from the New Jersey line to the north edge of the Village of Nyack. The third leg of this triangle runs from Nyack to Pearl River and borders the Towns of Clarkstown and Ramapo to the north.
Orangetown has within its borders the Villages of Nyack, South Nyack, Piermont and Grandview-on-Hudson, and the hamlets of Pearl River, Nauraushaun, Orangeburg, Blauvelt, Tappan, Sparkill, Upper Grandview and Palisades.
A Brief History of Orangetown
In 1719, some of about 100 residents of Haverstraw, in the northern part of the town, successfully petitioned the Governor and Council for separation from Orangetown because of the difficulties in getting to the seat of government in Tappan. From the resulting precinct of Haverstraw, a name retained until after the American Revolution when Haverstraw became a Town, the remainder of Rockland County’s towns; Stony Point, Clarkstown, and Ramapo, were formed.
Orangetown had its official beginning under the government of the United States in 1788, and is one of the original towns established by the State of New York in that year. Before 1788, Orangetown, as a unit of government, had existed for more than a century. It is the mother of all towns in Orange and Rockland Counties.
It is a matter of interest that Orangetown was first considered to be in New Jersey because of the uncertainty of boundaries in the early days and, except for losing considerable territory when the boundary between New York and New Jersey was finally established, its territorial limits have continued little changed since that time.
The original settlement in the Town was made by the Dutch, and the Dutch names for localities such as Blauvelt (Blue fields), Sparkill (Spar creek) and Tappan Zee (Tappan Sea), as well as Dutch names among many of its inhabitants, testify to its early beginnings.
Town of Orangetown Police Department
The Orangetown Police Department was established in 1935 and its first Police Chief was Fred Kennedy. Before 1935, the protection of the town was in the hands of Constables who were paid by the individual businesses in the town to protect their properties.
From 1935 to 1961 it was headquartered above the Post Office in the Hamlet of Sparkill. It grew from a handful to 26 officers by 1960. In April of 1961, due to its having outgrown the small quarters above the Post Office, it moved to a newly erected and more centrally located 2 story Town Hall on the corner of Orangeburg Road and Dutch Hill Road in the Hamlet of Orangeburg. The Police department occupied 1/2 of the basement floor, and consisted of 29 sworn officers and 1 civilian clerk. Over the next 30 years, the force grew and waned between 90 and 100 officers and we subsequently took over most of the whole basement (except for the boiler room and Town Attorney’s Office).
The Nyack Village Police Department
On January 1st, 1991, the Town of Orangetown and the Town of Clarkstown took over all police services for the Village of Nyack after the Nyack Village Board voted to disband their police force. Under New York State Law, the township in which the village is situated is required to take over the police services of the village. Since the village was situated in and overlapped the two townships, both townships were required to assume the police services for those portions of the village lying within their borders.
The eastern portion of the village of Nyack, including the downtown business section, was within the Town of Orangetown, and the western part of the village was within the Town of Clarkstown. The former Nyack Police Officers, also per New York State Law, were divided amongst the two townships with Orangetown getting 10 officers and 2 Sergeants.
In May of 1992, having outgrown its former quarters once again, the Police and Court moved to its present location in a new addition attached to the old Town Hall building (white building on right of old building)
The Orangetown Police Department maintains a satellite station in the Village of Nyack and also has a Police booth in the Hamlet of Pearl River.
The Current Police Force consists of 83 sworn officers, 5 civilian dispatchers, 5 civilian clerk/stenos and about 25 Auxiliary police Officers.
The current Chief of Police is Kevin A. Nulty who was appointed in February of 1997.
The former Chiefs and their dates of service as Chief are:
Fred Kennedy 1935 – 1955 *
Robert P. Lewis 1955 – 1969 *
Emmett C. Maines 1969 – 1970
Edmond H. Nelke 1970 – 1978 *
William A. Crable 1978 – 1992
Homer Wanamaker 1992 – 1997
In 1683, the County of Orange, named for William of Orange (King William III), which included present-day Rockland County, was formed. In 1686 the Town of Orangetown was created by a royal grant in the Tappan Patent. Shortly after 1686, the few inhabitants in lands northward were united with it for the purpose of assessment and court jurisdiction.