Numbers of arrests in Guilderland, which had dropped in 2020 — for juveniles (48 in 2020 to 60 in 2021), drunk driving (33 to 50 in 2021), traffic summons (785 more than double to 1,620 in 2021), property-damage crashes (872 in 2020 to 1,033 in 2021) — all rebounded last year after plummeting during the start of the pandemic.

GUILDERLAND — Police say a shooting in a Crossgates Mall parking lot on Sunday afternoon “appears to be an isolated incident.”

Berne couple Gunner and Melanie laCour, and their neighbor, George Duell, think that lowering the speed limit on their section of Route 443 from 55 miles per hour to 45 will mitigate the pattern of accidents they’ve grown accustomed to witnessing. The New York State Department of Transportation disagrees.

Before voting to approve the nine-page memorandum of agreement on March 8, board member Rebecca Butterfield asked for data on the SRO, saying she would like to know what he does on a daily basis and what actions have been taken on criminal matters.

“Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide — and rates have increased over the past decade,” says the United States Surgeon General in an advisory on “the urgent need to address the nation’s youth mental health crisis.”

“At least 5.4 million children live in a home with at least one unlocked and loaded weapon and at least 80 percent of school shooters under the age of 18 aquire their weapons from the home, including the recent Oxford, Michigan shooter, who killed four,” said Conor Webb, president of the Guilderland chapter of March For Our Lives.

 In those first 10 years, it seemed no one dared go above 30 miles per hour, “which we enjoyed, especially living on Main Street,” said Altamont resident Mya Sullivan, but over the past year, she has begun to see drivers flying down Route 146. 

The most important change in preparing for an active shooter is that faculty now has options. Formerly, the only choice was to go into lockdown. Now teachers can choose something different, like having students leave the school, which Guilderland High School Principal Michael Piscitelli said was “super powerful.”

“A lot of folks that know me and the agency that I oversee, we’re very community oriented and I think our staff does a great job. Many things we’ve already banned way prior to the horrific incident that happened with George Floyd,” Sheriff Craig Apple told the legislative committee accepting his draft for reform.

The Guilderland committee for police reform assembled arrest records according to race and found that a much higher percentage of Blacks than there are Black residents in town were charged. This is largely due to arrests of out-of-town suspects made at Crossgates Mall, according to Police Chief Daniel McNally. The public is encouraged to read the draft and respond.


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