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Bethlehem dispatcher arrested, suspended

A Bethlehem Police Department dispatcher has been suspended with pay following his arrest Friday, April 2, on misdemeanor charges of menacing in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree and reckless endangerment in the second degree.

Bethlehem police say Eric Kerr, 24, of Slingerlands, pointed a handgun at an ex-girlfriend during a domestic incident in Glenmont. He was arraigned in Bethlehem Town Court before Judge Paul Dwyer and was scheduled to reappear Tuesday, May 4.

Police declined to release further details on the incident so as to not provide information that could identify the victim.

According to Lt. Thomas Heffernan of the BPD, as non-sworn police personnel dispatchers are not issued weapons. Kerr had a permit for his pistol, which was confiscated.

He also said town police were capable of handling the arrest of a co-worker professionally.

That's not a concern on the administration's part, he said. "It may feel awkward to some people, however our officers and supervisors are professional and everything has been done properly."

Kerr is also an EMT with Albany County Emergency Medical Services.

Albany County Undersheriff Craig Apple said the Town of Bethlehem informed him of the incident late Friday night, but the department is waiting for copies of arrest reports before taking any action because Kerr's next scheduled shift isn't until April 22.

"There's no urgency to jump to a suspension or anything else," Apple said.

Apple also said it's not unusual for county EMTs to work only a few shifts every month in addition to their full time jobs.

Kerr was recently recognized for his role in rescuing a teenager from a Delmar house fire last December.

Misdemeanors are punishable with a maximum sentence of one year in county jail.

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