Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner James Montagnino’s heavy-handed administration of the Saratoga Springs Police Department is bearing bitter fruit.
In Saratoga’s summer tourist season, the Saratoga Springs Police Department can go from dealing with a city of approximately 29,000 to on some days a population of 75,000. The department will be going into this busy season with a substantially diminished force, and Public Safety Commissioner James Montagnino’s recent actions are only making things worse.
The department already had a number of vacancies at the end of 2021. Seven new hires are currently attending the Police Acadamy but will not be fully operational until the fall, and historically not all the candidates who attend the Acadamy end up completing the process. Eleven other vacancies remain unfilled.
In a single month, though, the department will now also lose three of its officers.
The highest-ranking female officer who was publicly criticized and threatened with demotion by Commissioner Montagnino is retiring.
Lieutenant Sean Briscoe retired this week. He has been with the department for approximately twenty-seven years and is only fifty years old.
Officer Yevgeniy “Gene” Khutoryanskiy has opted for a lateral transfer to the Glenville Police Department. Although he maintains his rank, he took a pay cut which indicates how poisonous the environment in the department has become.
Other police officers in the department are also exploring getting out given the tensions with Montagnino’s oversight and the potential for enforced overtime that this understaffed department will face this summer.
For a good discussion on this check out this episode of Talking Saratoga.