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Deal would bring added security to Princetown courts

A tentative agreement with Schenectady County would allow the town of Princetown to contract security through the County Sheriff's office, effectively putting an end to the town's longstanding problem with limited court security.

A resolution on the County Legislature's agenda for its meeting on Tuesday, April 8, would provide for the provision of sheriff's deputies to serve as court protection officers at Princetown's court.

The resolution, sponsored by Legislator Angelo Santabarbara, R-Rotterdam, is the first Republican-sponsored piece of legislation that has made it onto a county agenda this year. Democrats hold an 11-to-4 majority on the Legislature.

Santabarbara calls the initiative an example of bipartisan and intergovernmental cooperation. Princetown Supervisor Nick Maura is a Democrat, but Santabarbara said that when Maura came to him with his problem, he didn't see it as a political issue.

This is the way government is supposed to work, said Santabarbara. Regardless of the political party affiliation of me and the town supervisor, we got together to try and get something accomplished."

Maura and Town Judge Michelle Van Woeart addressed the Legislature earlier this year. Maura said that the town has never had its own security, but relied on municipal police and state troopers who were in attendance to enforce traffic tickets.

Maura said the town had an incident in the past where a man brought a weapon into the courtroom and that to ensure safety at an affordable price, he needed the county's help.

Van Woeart echoed Maura's comments, adding that without additional security she felt that she and her staff were unsafe.

Van Woeart's comments brought a response from Susan E. Savage, D-Niskayuna, chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature. At the time, she said the Legislature was moving toward a resolution of the problem and was gathering insurance information that would help the county attorney negotiate a contract.

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