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Coeymans police chief resigns; PBA warns PD is at risk

Feb 14, 2022 1:00 am

Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Capital Region Independent Media that the abrupt resignation of Coeymans' police chief and the budget battles between the town board and the officers’ union have unnerved residents and officials alike, with some expressing concerns that it could all lead to the end of the Coeymans Police Department. “There is no truth to that,” Town Supervisor George McHugh said. “We have said it a million times before, we will say it again – we have no intention of getting rid of the Coeymans Police or dissolving the Coeymans Police. We will look for a new chief and we will drive on. There have never been plans to dissolve the department." Police Chief Douglas Keyer, resigned Feb. 11, after serving the town for roughly one year. His resignation was effective immediately. Other members of the department submitted their resignations, as well. Keyer's departure comes during the ongoing budget squabbles between the town board and the Coeymans Police PBA, the union representing the local police force. The union is accusing the town board of defunding the department. “As of March 1, 2022, the Town of Coeymans Police Department will no longer be available for any calls for service, both emergency and non-emergency, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 12 a.m. to 8 a.m.,” according to the union. In addition to its own police force, Coeymans is also served by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. The operation of the Coeymans Police Department falls under the jurisdiction of the town board. The police union stated the department’s budget woes will make it difficult to carry out its mission. McHugh said the town was looking for a department with a different focus and cited budgetary reasons. “... The town board wants a community-centric police department. We have the sheriff’s department here and they supplement us with two patrols 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” McHugh said.“That saves us money. I am not looking to build a metropolitan police department in Coeymans. We can’t afford it.” Sgt. Daniel Braden, who works part-time for the department, is now at the top of the department’s chain of command while the town searches for a new chief. Read more at TheUpStater [dot] com.