Amityville's police union says in a letter to village residents that trustee Nick LaLota is "attacking" officers in his recent proposal to freeze the base pay of some of its members.
Police Benevolent Association president Chris Mullin wrote in the letters and a Newsday advertisement that the union has already made "substantial" concessions to "do our part to deal with the fiscal and economic realities our community faces."
LaLota, running for re-election in a March 18 village election, said his proposal to freeze the base pay of officers with gross 2013 earnings of more than $150,000 is needed to avoid double-digit tax increases.
"I want our village to have the best police services," he said. "I just want them at a cost the taxpayers can afford."
Mullin's letter says the village police department costs about $10 a month per household. LaLota has said the cost is closer to $115 a month per household.
"We understand and acknowledge what clearly seems to be your overwhelming desire for political office," the letter continues. "We do not believe that the many residents of Amityville who have been personally helped by their caring and professional officers would want us to accept the denigration -- by you or anyone else -- of their local community police officers."
LaLota said the union's charge that he disparaged police officers by offering a plan to freeze their base pay was "absolutely false." His father and both grandfathers were police officers, he said.
"Wearing and respecting the uniform is in my family's DNA," he said.
Among the concessions Millin's letter to village residents cites is a 2013 agreement that introduced a salary scale for new hires that would take officers longer to reach top step. New officers also for the first time pay a portion of their health care during employment, according to that agreement.
The agreement also freezes wages of officers at the top step until they match those paid by the Suffolk County Police Department.
After that, wages for current officers will increase parallel to Suffolk police pay.
Mullin did not respond to a request for comment last week.