Report due soon on Schenectady cops' stripper bash

Friday, January 4, 2013
Text Size: A | A

— Police have interviewed the officers and witnesses to last month’s platoon Christmas party, at which the officers hired strippers to perform for them.

Police brass, the mayor and City Council members said the party was in poor judgment, but it is not yet clear whether any laws were broken.

Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett said he has been given a preliminary report, and expects a final draft early next week. If he is satisfied by the amount of investigation in that draft, he said he expects to discuss the final report with the new police chief by Friday. They will decide whether anyone should be disciplined for actions at the event.

“Are some people guilty of some misconduct and others not? Did anyone break any law, or violate our procedures? And if so, who?” Bennett said.

The report may resolve questions as sexual activity or drunken driving occurred. But even if they didn’t, Bennett isn’t impressed by the party plans. “It appears there was some very poor judgment exercised,” he said.

Officers drank for hours while watching the strippers, then traveled to another bar, where they kept drinking. After a short time, they drove back to the first bar to continue the party, according to bartenders.

It’s not clear whether sober officers drove.

The department currently doesn’t require police to organize designated drivers for their annual Christmas platoon parties. Bennett said officers shouldn’t have to be told to avoid driving drunk, but now a requirement may be imposed.

“It’s something we will discuss,” he said. “We can strongly suggest it. And I know that has been done in the past.”

He added that most officers don’t need such a rule.

“They have to take responsibility for their actions,” he said. “You’d hope they are adult enough.”

But he acknowledged that officers have driven drunk after other off-duty events.

“We don’t want a repeat of a couple of incidents we’ve had after social functions,” he said.

Some spouses are also questioning why they aren’t invited to the annual platoon parties. They said their husbands told them there was a policy prohibiting spouses from attending any party.

Some angry women gathered outside Johnny Goo’s Clam Shack the night of the party, watching through large glass windows as their husbands and boyfriends danced with the strippers. They angrily texted and called other women, some of whom confronted their husbands and boyfriends over the nature of the party.

Bennett said there’s no written rule banning spouses, but that many officers prefer to party alone.

“Some people in the rank and file don’t believe in attending with their spouses,” he said. “That’s not a Schenectady Police Department thing.”

City Council members said there should be new policies governing platoon parties, particularly regarding designated drivers.

“You could just say, ‘If there’s drinking, you’re required to have a designated driver,’ ” Councilman Carl Erikson said. “Maybe it’s an education thing. If you’re going to go out, drink responsibly. Keep it to one drink an hour. If you drink too much, call a cab.”

Erikson added that strippers are legal, and that he assumes no police officer paid them for sex. But, he said, having strippers is inappropriate for a party for a full platoon of police officers. It’s not professional, he said.

“Any event sanctioned by the city should be family-friendly,” he added. “I don’t think a Christmas party should be a frat party.”

Councilman Vince Riggi also noted that stripping is legal, but said police should not have hired them for a private party.

“You know how that goes. It certainly can lead to some things,” he said. “This is a free country, but it certainly isn’t good judgment at an official party.”

He said the simplest way to clean up the parties would be to invite spouses.

“That way some of this can be avoided,” he said. “I think parties without spouses invited is not a good thing.”

Erikson also said spouses should be invited to the platoon parties. But he added that officers might think twice about their entertainment plans if they had to invite the mayor.

“If at any point he can walk in, they might say well, ‘We’re not going to have strippers if the mayor’s invited,’ ” he said.

Share story: print print email email facebook facebook reddit reddit


January 5, 2013
2:54 a.m.
mezz3131 says...

Kathleen, give it a rest already. We may have to bring in another dead horse to beat!

January 5, 2013
7:17 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Why is this even an issue? This was not a police party, it was a party that some police were present. My friend had a bachelor party a few weeks ago with strippers, does Ms. Moore want a list of those who attended "without their spouses" so as to see that nothing innapropriate happened? It is nobody's business what these officers do outside of work. They are private citizens and for there to be an internal investigation tells me that the command staff should be telling the Gazette no comment, not adding to the garbage being written. Albany and Troy PD have a rule when it comes to internal investigations, the rule is 'NO COMMENT', Bennett needs to learn it. Wayne Bennett must have gone to the Brian Stratton school of bus driving.....

January 5, 2013
9:54 a.m.
ThePhilistine says...

It seems clear that nothing illegal happened, no DWIs no property damage nothing... but Kathleen moore wishes the worse for the police. There is no way wives and girlfriends would stand outside angry watching through a window and just text their friends. Anyone who is married knows that is definitely not the way that would play out.

Also how did this non story about these guys at private party turn into a "city sanctioned Christmas party"? It has already been printed in the other 3 or 4 stories it was a private party and a location that was privately reserved. If you have a real story by all means print it but to run with this witch hunt is crazy.

January 5, 2013
10:29 a.m.
ajames says...

Councilman Vince Riggi also noted that stripping is legal, but said police should not have hired them for a private party. “You know how that goes. It certainly can lead to some things,” he said.

Vince Riggi acting as a moral compass. Now I have heard it all...

January 5, 2013
12:38 p.m.
wmarincic says...

BTW who would invite McCarthy to a party and why would you want him there? The 2nd time I read this story I was thinking, who wrote this, a 10 year old?

January 5, 2013
12:56 p.m.
rsmall803 says...

given the nature of their job and the problems they have had over several years better judgement should have made.

January 6, 2013
8 a.m.
gina99 says...

Where's Mayor McCarthy's hilarious comments? Erickson is also a riot with his don't drink and drive lecture like officers don't know the existing law. Dead horse is right. The City is going bust and one "reporter" is in a froth over a private party.

January 6, 2013
10:30 a.m.
kmiac says...

Ok first, lets get one thing straight, this was NOT a Christmas party it was a platoon party....big difference!! These guys need to have a feeling of comradery to do the job they do. They are in a city where they are precieved as the enemy. Miss. moore in your oh so accurate reporting, had you interviewed any other spouses of these officers, or just the one upset girlfriend? Im going to assume you did not. Had you correctly investigated you would know several facts, up tocand including the fact that spouses were aware of the strippers presence at the party, and the fact that only one girlfriend does not understand the concept of a platoon party. Now, as for inviting spouses and the mayor, please tell me you people are joking!! Who are any of you to say a group of people can not go out together without supervision? Are they not over 18? Did anyone have a dwi? Did Miss. Moore correctly notify you that spouses willingly dropped off and picked up their husbands at this party? She is just trying to stir up negatity about the department based on emotion, not based on aspects of the job. Do you miss moore realize all that does is put these young guys in an even more dangerous position as you further paint them to be an enemy?? Do you care if they go home each day to their spouses? Im sure that is a much bigger concern for these women than a party!

January 6, 2013
7:42 p.m.
mezz3131 says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
January 6, 2013
8:30 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Or maybe a stripper.

January 6, 2013
10:36 p.m.
bluelinecop says...

Ahh, Mezz you have revealed your age. I too am aware of Mr Riggi's extracurricular activities that did in fact land him in the gazette blotters. Of course that was a while ago before he was a politician and we know they, like reporters do no wrong. Especially not drink and drive after a council meeting or political fundraiser.

January 7, 2013
1:53 p.m.
Bwarren14 says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
January 7, 2013
4:28 p.m.
wmarincic says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
January 7, 2013
8:41 p.m.
Bwarren14 says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
January 8, 2013
1:08 a.m.
mezz3131 says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

columnists & blogs

Log into

Forgot Password?