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Budget allots for program to train police in dealing with mentally ill

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's new budget allots $400,000 for a pilot program to train police officers in dealing with the mentally ill.
Mental health advocates proposed the training to help officers assess and de-escalate confrontations when called to incidents involving psychologically troubled people.
The so-called Crisis Intervention Team model is already used in some form by 2,700 jurisdictions nationwide.
It teams police officers with mental health professionals.
The program includes guidance for 911 dispatchers on gathering information on mental health and addiction issues.
It also includes 40 hours of training for patrol officers on topics like maintaining a safety zone while assessing the situation and avoiding the temptation to immediately answer a crisis with force.

Saratoga men face charges for vandalizing car

SARATOGA - Two Saratoga County men are facing felony charges for allegedly vandalizing someone's car at Wilton Mall.

State Police say 20-year-old Brian Van Gundy and 36-year-old Nathan Van Gundy caused more than $250 dollars in damage to the car.

A third man, 39-year-old Brian Van Gundy is charged with stalking and violating an order of protection during the incident.

Vigil for Victims of Crime scheduled Sunday

SARATOGA- The Saratoga District Attorney’s office is hosting a candlelight vigil this weekend for victims of crime.

The 15th annual vigil will start at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church in Saratoga Springs.

It will mark the start of National Crime Victim’s Right’s Week.

This year’s theme is “30 Years: Restore the Balance of Justice”.

District Attorney James Murphy says 30 years ago crime victims had virtually no rights or assistance.

Today more than 10,000 victim service agencies help people throughout the country.

But the D.A. says there is still a lot of work to be done. 

Hudson Falls seeking special little leaguers with big dreams

HUDSON FALLS - 10-year-old Tommy Martindale loves sports. Loves to run and play soccer. And now he's hoping to play baseball.

Tommy's parents, Katherine and Dan, of Hudson Falls, are hoping that once the snow melts, this will become his field of dreams.

Hudson Falls has started a Little League Challenger Division. A few other area communities have them. Children with special needs play baseball just like the other kids.

"To have him have peers that he's out there playing with rooting for each other, that is, it just makes you smile," said Katherine in an interview near the baseball fields Thursday afternoon.

There'll be kids with cerebral palsy, autism, or Down's, like Tommy. The players are teamed up with a buddy to help them.

Emergency vehicles to get new 'red letter' license plates

This is what the new license plates will look like. - Gov. Cuomo's Office

The familiar color scheme of New York State license plates will soon change for emergency vehicles.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday they will soon have red letters.

The new plates will also have an “EM” sticker to help identify them.

The cars must be registered or controlled in the name of the agency or locality -- which will also be prominently displayed.

There will be no charge for the new plates.

However, the new plates will cost $9.75 to make for a total cost of $48,750 to the state.

Fulton County man sentenced for assault

NORTHAMPTON – A Fulton County man will spend nine months behind bars after he assaulted a Saratoga County man.

Donald Town, 39, was found guilty of Assault in December.

The verdict stems from an incident at Town’s home in Northville in April 2013.

Town tackled John English of Edinburg, from behind forcing him to strike the ground.

English suffered a broken nose and upper jaw as well as cuts to his face, swelling and bruising.

In addition to jail time, the judge issued an order of protection and restitution for the victim. 

Malta man accused of drug trafficking

MALTA – A Malta man is under arrest after a drug trafficking investigation by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s office.

Investigators say 43-year-old Joseph McClelland was selling cocaine out of his East High Street home in Malta.

They say McClelland was observed selling narcotics from the home on several occasions.

He faces possession and drug sale charges and is in the Saratoga County jail in lieu of bail.