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Local police, lawmakers oppose countywide police force

County lawmakers and members of the municipal police forces throughout Schenectady County are opposed to the idea of a countywide police force suggested after numerous acts of misconduct amongst several members of the Schenectady City Police force.

I received numerous calls from residents and officials throughout the county, expressing concern over the remarks of [City of Schenectady] Mayor [Brian] Stratton regarding the abolishment of local police agencies and the establishment of a countywide police force," said Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna, in a written statement.

She said that shifting the underlying problems facing the city police department to another level of government would not solve the problem.

Some officials said sharing resources would benefit law enforcement, but won't go as far as to advocate a consolidation of forces.

"I am certainly an advocate of sharing services under the right conditions. I also believe that consolidating some police departments can, in fact, be a good idea " but not necessarily under the circumstance that we're facing now," said Michael Ranalli, Chief of Police for the Town of Glenville.

"We work very well with the Schenectady police department and we will continue to do so, and we will assist them in any manner that we can and hope that they will continue to assist us as we do on an ongoing basis," said Renalli.

John Pitlovaney, Chief of Police for the Town of Scotia, discussed both the positive and negative benefits of consolidating police forces ultimately stating that he thought it was a bad idea.

"There are certain areas where a consolidated police department would be better," said Pitlovaney.

"Certainly the sharing of communities and the different staffing levels and so forth, the technology, and the possibility of being able to purchase things cheaper and in larger quantities," said Pitlovaney.

However, he said that if they're looking to save money, he hasn't seen where consolidations have achieved that goal.

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