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Scotia board drops police consolidation plans

High visibility patrols praised

Adam Halbfinger, president of the Scotia PBA, discussed the population density difference between the village and the town. Scotia has more than 8,000 residents in 1.7 square miles, and Glenville has nearly 22,000 residents in 47.2 square miles. The village's population density per square mile is much higher than the town's, at roughly 4,740 residents per square mile to 464, respectively.

"Due to the population density and the proximity of Scotia to Schenectady, the Scotia Police Department proactively patrols the village," said Halbfinger. "The patrol pattern is a valuable part of our police department. It has been argued that this patrol style is not efficient and is outdated. However, due to this patrol pattern we have arrested suspects in numerous crimes in progress."

During Glenville Chief Michael Ranalli's presentation to both boards on Wednesday, March 29, he said studies since the 1970s had shown increased police presence alone does not decrease crime, but he added the studies also find "the public loves it." He argued increased services to the village through a consolidation would allow for more follow-ups on more cases.

Some of the cases where high-visibility patrolling proved valuable, said Halbfinger, was during a series of tire slashings three years ago, when a rash of graffiti broke out and helping to solve the growing crime of larcenies from vehicles.

"In the past couple of years, I have personally arrested six suspects in four separate incidents for larcenies from vehicles while on patrol," said Halbfinger. "This includes arresting a suspect from a larceny from a vehicle of a village trustee here today, which the iPod was returned to her."

Decision comes with a price

When the board took a break before making its decision, Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle said consolidation is not a Glenville plan but one to benefit both municipalities. He stressed the town wasn't forcing this on village residents and the village had approached the town.

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