Overdose investigation in Saugerties highlights personnel shortages, says police chief

A Saugerties ninth grader who overdosed on a drug on April 12 in Catskill is recovering well in the hospital, police chief Joseph Sinagra reported at the village board’s regular meeting on Monday, April 15.

“The indication is that he obtained the drug in Saugerties,” the chief said. “That’s a problem we have to address. We’re working closely with the state police up in Catskill to determine what the substance was and how this individual got his hands on it.”

The student was in a coma all weekend, but he is reportedly now conscious and alert. He is at the Albany Medical Center, Sinagra said.


To Sinagra, the discussion was raised a larger issue in the police department, the shortage of trained personnel, especially at the middle supervisory level. “There’s a lot that goes on, and a lot of investigations that go on,” said Sinagra, “and I try to gingerly address that with the mayor and the town supervisor. But unfortunately there are a lot of times we can’t tell everything we’re doing. But I can tell you now, these guys are working their butts off on some very important major cases in both the village and the town.”

The department is down four positions, Sinagra said. Three sergeants left recently. One has been filled by a promotion within the department, and another will be soon. The positions of the promoted officers will now have to be filled.

“This weekend I have had sergeants working double shifts to cover the open sergeants’ positions,” Sinagra said. “Last night, the sergeants had to work so many doubles they could not work, so the captain came in to cover the shift.” The captain was not eligible for overtime, “I gave him today off,” the chief said.

With the shortage of officers, “we’re eating into our overtime budget very rapidly right now,” Sinagra said. With all the shortages, “we’re still providing the same services,” Sinagra assured the village trustees. He says the combined department is providing a higher level of service than the separate town and village police departments did prior to the merger.

There are 3 comments

  1. Lisa Fellows

    This is a perfect article for my comments. Why is our town board still turning their heads on the needs of the shelter animals (especially dogs)? Delaying 1 vehicle or position for our ‘fortune 500’ departments (police, parks, highway) could mean larger kennels for pups and acceptable heat and air conditioning for them.

    The shelter is a department too. $50,000 could go a long way for the pets.

    Mr. Fred Costello and Iiasion Schoonmaker, what will it take to get the shelter some needed help now? Not what you hope to do in the far future. We mean now. We are a department. A department that is in great need of a piece of the pie. The pets don’t even get a crumb.
    ~ Lisa Fellows, voice for shelter pets.

  2. Jp

    The amount of money that goes to the Cantine complex is insane and responsible for a nice chunk of the yearly town budget, Mrs Fellows. Whatever Chorvas wants and needs, he gets. Unfortunately, you will probably need to either appeal to the Kiwanis or try and drum up some contributions. There will be some new blood running in November, perhaps if they get in, your prays will get answered.

  3. Jennifer Farley

    I did not feel comfortable calling the Saugerties PD but a man I did not know who was DRIVING some kid with good references about renting my downstairs unit passed out apparently on heroin in my driveway last week. I hid in my house while somebody’s mother came over and I urged they get that Naproxen into him ASAP. I never saw my late stepsister on heroin but she died of an overdose in 2005 after finishing law school and becoming a triathlete. I did know what nodding off looks like. We need a lot more trustable law enforcement in the area, NOW. No games, no lies, no bribes, no head games, no excessive abuse of authority, no blaming the victim of excessive exposure.. I am as dull as can be these days and very helpful here and there and I just think the cops in Woodstock and Saugerties and Kingston are 99 percent sexist pigs and very bad news and cannot figure out that I was robbed and harassed, not the other way around. Nobody trusts the cops now.

Comments are closed.