Monday, June 28, 2021, Commissioner of Public Safety Robin Dalton and Assistant Police Chief John Catone held a press conference to discuss the recent spike in violence and the city’s plan to respond to it.
Commissioner Dalton discussed the need for the city’s local bars to take more responsibility for public safety. This would include better coordination regarding problematic patrons. Currently a patron denied service due to unruly behavior simply goes to another bar. The local bar owners need to communicate among themselves bout who these people are so that they are denied service at other venues. In an age of technology, such coordination is possible.
Assistant Chief Catone gave an impassioned statement on the need for a broadly coordinated campaign to address the violence. He talked about the work the department is doing to better coordinate with the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police.
Here is a story from WNYT news.
Here is a story from WTEN news.
The Times Union story emphasized Catone’s frustration over what he saw as a campaign to fracture the local police from the community.
“As a 35 year veteran of this police department and whose family has been embedded in this community for 13o plus years, you have trusted me with your safety,” said Catone, who is retiring in eight months. “I ask you to listen to my message and trust me one more time. It’s time for the silent majority, we have heard about, to stand up and be heard. … If you continue to push a narrative of lies and misinformation, if you continue to divide this police department and this community because you are trying to push a narrative from a national stage that has no bearing on the city of Saratoga Springs, you are part of the problem. And I will, on my final eight months on the job, pull out every single connection my family has made over the last 130 years and I will stop your narrative. We are not a hateful community, we are not a racist police department.”Times Union June 28, 2021 edition
The story quoted Catone as attributing the violence as coming from Albany gangs.
Commissioner Dalton discussed the recent incidents involving local high school students in Congress Park. She talked about the need for the school system to assist the city by taking action, where possible, regarding the perpetrators of violence who attend Saratoga Springs High School.
This is a link to the video of the entire event which included questions from members of the public as well as the media.