State Police Detail In Gouverneur Comes Under Fire

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State Police deny there was any political motivation when they sent several state troopers to the village of Gouverneur last week for a late-night detail that randomly stopped close to 100 motorists on village streets where dozens of vehicle and traffic tickets were handed out.
                  
"State troopers have been tasked to patrol on midnight shifts seven nights a week. It's not our business to get involved in the politics of a village, but it is our job to maintain public safety," said Captain Michael Girard of the State Police.                                                             

During the time State Police were focused on the village of Gouverneur, more than 50 tickets were handed out for everything from speeding to inadequate exhaust.

We're also told some felony arrests were also made for drunk driving and marijuana possession.

Anonymous postings on online forums and web boards suggested the State Police enforcement effort was because troopers were spending more time handling complaints in the village, taking time away from their other responsibilities.

"What happened here, I'm not sure. But since this happened, we've certainly had a lot of complaints about it," said Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall.
 
The State Police detail ran from late Wednesday night through early Thursday morning - times that are normally not covered by a village police presence because of a manpower issue.

The village's five-member police department has one officer on suspension and one officer on medical leave, leaving a patrolman, a sergeant and a chief to man the department.

Mayor McDougall says he has not had any conversations with the State Police over a lack of manpower on the local force even though sometimes troopers respond to criminal complaints or domestic incidents within the village.

"I was surprised that our police chief...was not notified," said McDougall.

State Police tell us motorists can continue to expect additional enforcement details similar to the one in Gouverneur in other communities in the weeks and months ahead.

Monday, October 20, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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