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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 14, 2010

Cocaine arrest made in Altamont

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

ALTAMONT — The Altamont Police made over 100 arrests in 2009, according to the village’s commissioner of public safety, Anthony Salerno.

Among the traffic infractions was a cocaine arrest, made last month. Salerno credits the department’s “community policing” approach for that collar.

Danté Surgick, 33, of 1328 Pleasant Street in Schenectady, was arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. The substance, Salerno said, was cocaine.

On Dec. 19, Salerno said, an unnamed man was shopping for bread and milk at the Altamont Stewart’s Shop on the corner of Main Street and Altamont Boulevard, when, outside in the parking lot, Surgick rolled down his car window and “asked if he wanted anything.”

The anonymous man called the police and “provided a description of the car and its occupants,” said Salerno.

Surgick was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, since one of his passengers was a child, said Salerno.

Surgick was remanded to Albany County’s jail and is out on bail, Salerno said; he will appear in Altamont Village Court on Feb. 3.

Surgick could not be reached for comment.

“The key to community policing,” said Salerno, “is you don’t want government or police involved all the time.”

In addition to relying on calls from citizens, he said, the Altamont Police are involved in mediation when there are problems with harassment or neighbor disputes.

“We’ll mediate for you,” he said. “There are times when we can’t, when we have to make an arrest. But we want to see cooperation among the people involved.”

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