SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – With the economy reopening and people returning to nightlife in the Capital Region, some are concerned about public safety.
The Saratoga Police Department is partnering with New York State Police and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office to crackdown on gun violence after a brawl involving close to 20 people last weekend on Caroline Street. One person was stabbed and there was a shots fired. Over the next eight weeks, there will be an increased presence of police officers from all three agencies patrolling the Spa City.
Saratoga Police say the increased patrols will create better public safety. “Not so much necessary enforcement, but more so making sure our community has a sense of safety and when they come here to enjoy our bars and restaurants and nightlife, and our shopping that they feel comfortable and aren’t afraid to come here,” says Saratoga Police Lt. Bob Jillson.
“Caroline Street has been very protected this weekend I feel like it’s going to be fun tonight and this weekend,” said Saratoga Springs resident Kevin Herren.
“Just having them drive by and hanging out, makes you feel a little better about things,” says Crystal Wood, Assistant Manager of The Ice House. Crystal likes seeing the different law enforcement agencies out and about, especially the when the bars are busy. “Most of the bars and businesses downtown have a pretty good reputation with the Saratoga Police Department and they do a good job staying in the back of things making sure everyone is safe,” said Crystal.
However, others say the police presence is intimidating and overwhelming. “You walk outside and they’re staring at you. I feel like there’s more eyes on me because of my skin tone. I am stepping out and they’re just stare at us,” said Saratoga Springs resident Elijah Taylor.
Police say they’re main focus and priority is public safety. “…Don’t feel like we’re out here to intimidate you. We want you to know that we’re out here, you come here in one piece and you enjoy yourself and you get home in one piece,” said Lt. Jillson.