Sher­iff: Traf­fic tick­ets, ar­rests up in 2017

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Paul Post ppost@dig­i­tal­first­ @paul­v­post on Twit­ter

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. » Traf­fic tick­ets and ar­rests jumped 56 per­cent and 25 per­cent, re­spec­tively, in 2017, and were up in Jan­uary as well, the Saratoga County Sher­iff’s Of­fice says.

Sher­iff Michael Zurlo said the sig­nif­i­cant in­creases are the re­sult of a part-time trans­port team his depart­ment in­sti­tuted about 18 months ago, which frees up deputies to do more road pa­trols.

Pre­vi­ously, deputies had the job of trans­port­ing in­mates to court ap­pear­ances and other ap­point­ments. Now such work is done by part-time em­ploy­ees whose only job is trans­port­ing in­mates.

“So we have more (pa­trol) cars on the road,” Zurlo told the Board of Su­per­vi­sors’ Public Safety Com­mit­tee on Tues­day.

The trend is con­tin­u­ing this year as traf­fic tick­ets and ar­rests were up 32 per­cent and 12 per­cent, re­spec­tively for Jan­uary 2018 ver­sus Jan­uary 2017.

For all of 2017 there were 1,553 ar­rests com­pared to 1,234 the year be­fore. Of those charged, there were 1,027 males and 518 fe­males.

Ar­rests were up in all types of crime — felonies (417), mis­de­meanors (901) and vi­o­la­tions (164).

Traf­fic tick­ets to­taled 9,334 in 2017 ver­sus 5,924 in 2016.

In an­other area, ju­ve­nile ar­rests rose 134 per­cent from 2016 (26) to 2017 (61). Al­most four times as many girls were charged — 19 last year com­pared to five in 2016.

The num­ber of boys ar­rested dou­bled from 21 to 42.

Of the ju­ve­nile ar­rests in 2017, 26 were felonies, al­most three times the nine that were recorded in 2016.

Ju­ve­nile mis­de­meanors were up 100 per­cent from 15 to 30.

For 2017, there was also a 12 per­cent in­crease in traf­fic ac­ci­dents — 2,232 ver­sus 1,983 in 2016. How­ever, there was one less fa­tal­ity (five in 2017, six in 2016).

In Jan­uary 2018, deputies is­sued 1,121 traf­fic tick­ets com­pared to 844 in Jan­uary 2017.

There were 133 ar­rests, 15 more than in Jan­uary 2017 and there was a 42 per­cent in­crease in traf­fic ac­ci­dents last month

(240 vs. 168), but no fa­tal­i­ties.

Su­per­vi­sors ap­proved the sher­iff’s depart­ment’s ac­cep­tance of an $11,300 Gover­nor’s Traf­fic Safety Com­mit­tee grant. Zurlo said the money will mainly be used to pay for deputies’ over­time, as­signed to traf­fic en­force­ment through­out the county. Of­fi­cers tar­get things such as seat belt vi­o­la­tions, dis­tracted driv­ing and im­paired driv­ing, Zurlo said.

Su­per­vi­sors also ap­proved the depart­ment’s lease for $4,500 of night vi­sion gog­gles and ther­mal imag­ing equip­ment from the Navy. Zurlo said pur­chas­ing such equip­ment would cost $49,000. Buy­ing it is coun­ter­pro­duc­tive be­cause tech­nol­ogy changes so rapidly that equip­ment might be out­dated in a cou­ple of years, he said.

The com­mit­tee also ap­proved hav­ing the sher­iff’s depart­ment en­ter an in­ter­mu­nic­i­pal agree­ment with Rens­se­laer County Sher­iff’s Of­fice for shar­ing per­son­nel and equip­ment in spe­cial cases such as hostage sit­u­a­tions and drug en­force­ment.

In an­other mat­ter, the com­mit­tee ap­proved the district at­tor­ney’s of­fice’s ac­cep­tance of a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence grant.

District At­tor­ney Karen Heggen said the money would sup­port the salary of one of her two full-time as­sis­tants who are as­signed to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence cases.

“Un­for­tu­nately we don’t lack for work,” she said.

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