SAUGERTIES, N.Y. (NEWS10)—Pastor James Louis first came to Saugerties in 1996. Louis is the assistant pastor at the New Life Church in Saugerties, a cardiac nurse, and the Town of Saugerties Police Department’s newest Chaplin.
Louis met Chief Joseph Sinagra at a Black Lives Matter protest in Saugerties. A protest that he and the lead pastor of his church, the Rev. Tim O’Dell, were encouraged to attend. Louis said he and the Chief had been friends ever since.
That meeting with the Chief, Louis said, exposed something to him. The pastor said that they all know there is tension going on, and in his personnel opinion, he doesn’t think a protest can change anything but does help point out that there is something wrong.
Louis said going to the protest did lead to a lot of voices and alliances coming together. Besides meeting the police chief and the mayor, he said there were many common everyday people of every age, race, and sex. All coming together and communicating.
When he became one of the department’s Chaplins, the pastor said the first thing he learned was cops are everyday people. Louis said he thought one thing, but what he saw was something else in the department. He said the radio is always going, and the officers respond to many different types of calls.
Louis said most times you deal with the police during a traffic stop, an accident, or a death. He said being part of the team now is a different animal, and he has a new frame of mind as to what the police do and deal with on a daily basis.
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