Skip to comments.Schenectady mayor considers options, martial law over police woes
Posted on 03/23/2009 7:59:28 AM PDT by bimboeruption
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Schenectady Police Chief Mark Chaires said, "This is unprecedented - all these officers getting in trouble at the same time for all these different reasons.
Five Schenectady police officers recently accused of everything from driving drunk to beating up a man are leading city officials to look at taking drastic action to fix a department tainted by the few who may have acted illegally, like Darren Lawrence and Michael Brown who are accused of driving while intoxicated.
Chief Chaires said, "Those two officers, we're definitely going to seek termination, and we're not ruling it out with any of the officers who are out there.
Police Chief Mark Chaires told us you basically have to fire yourself - essentially a million dollar fine in lost benefits over a lifetime.
Still, Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton said, "We believe there are five officers now who could face possible termination."
But it's not just the threat of termination. Mayor Stratton told us he's looking at all options, including disbanding the police department - basically starting over.
"It's something we're certainly looking into. I think the public has had it up to here," said the mayor.
Currently, officials are reviewing the legal options and planning to present a full report in early April - options like a consolidated county-wide police force or bringing in the State Police.
The mayor said there is another option - and that would be declaring martial law. The governor would have to declare it and then the National Guard would come in. The mayor said it's more for a transition to a new police force if that were to happen.
He said, "It may be that as a stopgap measure, that you would need military forces - State Police, National Guard."
Mayor Stratton said the temporary measure would last until the new police force took over.
Schenectady's Corporation Counsel John Van Norden said, "If you abolish the police department you still have a need - not an obligation - but a need to police the community. You would need something in transition. Declaring martial law would be one way to bridge the gap."
"It's a contrived scenario," said the mayor. "But it's not beyond the realm of possibilities if you go that particular route."
Chief Chaires said, "When I think of martial law, I think of rioting. I think of Watts riots and things like that. I haven't seen anything that rises to that level. I was a little surprised to hear that."
But whether the National Guard needs to be called in or not, we'll take a more-in-depth look on Thursday at the county-wide and State Police options, as officials try to deal with an unprecedented situation in unprecedented ways.
Now this in New York.
More indications of our rights being taken away.
Here on the Island, we had one police department closed, and police service provided by the town in which the village was located. And since the State Troopers have statewide jurisdiction, the easiest way to handle it is to have the troopers take over.
Bad Cop = No Donut is okay but martial law?
Believe it or not the former Schenectady Chief of Police and his wife ran a drug smuggling ring from their home. Both were convicted after taking plea bargains.
Don’t they have a county sheriff to whom the responsibility would default?
Seems more like an indication of over reaction.
General George Patton violated it several times before WWII for a good cause. Look up Patton and Phenix City, Alabama.
Hmmmm, Glenn Beck is reading this now on the radio. Glenn/Stu are FReeping... lurking?
How many cops are in this department? How long have there been problems and of what sort? Sounds like there is a heck of a lot we don’t know. And is this mayor a loon, suggesting martial law??
Schenectady is a shit hole and has been in a death spiral since GE pulled out decades ago.
It seems US law enforcement considers the military just another tool in their toolbox. Not how it was supposed to be..
This mayor is talking about the possibility of bringing in the State Police, but more likely the National Guard.
>It seems US law enforcement considers the military just another tool in their toolbox.
It sure seems that way... and we’ve been getting a lot of training in MP-stuff like detainee ops.. sure, that was for Iraq, but I could see how politicians would think that we’re “just more personnel”.
>Not how it was supposed to be..
*nod* - Agreed... how it’s supposed to be is the armed forces are to kill people and break things.
.. and as an American military member, killing American people and breaking American things is like the sound of one hand clapping - an unthinkable thought. Keep us posted if there’s “training” to make the unthinkable thinkable.
Doubtful, but I could be recalled...(I was the Air Force equivalent of an MP)
FR is read extensively in this country [the USA] and all over the world.
Where I live San Francisco is referred to as “The City” by many.
You do know you can fly the flag of your State on your FR page. Thanks
>... and as an American military member, killing American people and breaking American things is like the sound of one hand clapping - an unthinkable thought.
True... well, no, I’ve been thinking a lot about congress, the exec. branch, and (to a lesser extent) the USSC in conjunction with my oath to defend and protect the Constitution from enemies domestic and foreign.
>Keep us posted if theres training to make the unthinkable thinkable.
Ah, the training I mentioned was part of the train-up for deploying to Iraq about two years ago. I was merely noting that the people in power might be tempted to think that the “mission statements” (if you will) of the Army and that of the police are the same (or close enough for government work).
This dept has a history of disaster
How about calling up the unorganized militia. (Ooops there is that nasty politically incorrect noun militia.) Anyway, I’m sure there are hundreds of senior citizens retired and otherwise that would bring their personal weapons (Ooops personal weapons???Who would have thought???) and police the streets and neighborhoods.
The Schenectady department is probably the most corrupt in NY State. Drug dealers sometimes go free because when it’s time to go to trial the drug evidence is missing.
What a drama queen.
The law duty should next fall to the elected county sheriff. He can deputize people to take over the bureaucratic functions while his desk-bound deputies patrol the town. I’m sure there’s retired deputies and veterans who can push papers, handle dispatch, count bullets, ration doughnuts and answer phones.
Some politicians are so stupid they need to locked in zoos for the public safety.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. Good stuff in that link too. Thanks!
Long Island, N.Y.
Thank you, I wrote that.
Does this mean that it's basically impossible to fire a police officer because they still get lifetime benefits? The sentence didn't make sense to me.
Thanks for the link.
Yes, in stages. The old factory was still visible and in ruins from the highway when I left quite some time ago.
GE is the largest employer in Schenectady by a very large margin, and thus they have a very close relationship. What happens to one will usually effect the other very quickly. As GE diversified in the late 20th century, parts of the Schenectady works closed, laying off large numbers of people. But still to say they are still the largest employer doesn't say much for that poor but once very beautiful and vibrant city.
I used to go to an acting/modeling agent of sorts when I was a kid and her office was in the Proctor Arcade downtown. It was once such a beautiful building, it was defunct even then...but even as a kid the ruins of the city fascinated me.
Schenectady? (Maybe compared to Troy!)
I went to RPI in the 60s and had occasion to go over to Schenectady once in a while. I never saw much there.
LOL! Yeah it must have seen it’s hey day in the early 1900’s. Troy too though was once a decent place. Hard to imagine. I went to Russell Sage BTW.
HEY HEY, easy on the Troylets. (I lived on Pawling Ave at one point..)
What about the County Sheriff???