While the Saugerties Police Department, according to its recently released annual report, made 38 fewer total arrests in 2019 and felony arrests went down to 48 last year from 2018’s 80, the total number of misdemeanor arrests increased from 189 in 2018 to 214 in 2019. Violation arrests dropped from 255 in 2018 to 215 in 2019. In all, the department made 477 arrests last year, a decline from 2018’s 515 arrests.
“I would like to think that is reflected in the job that we do here, but I also recognize that there is a national trend,” said Police Chief Joe Sinagra of the decrease.
Twelve investigations into assault cases were opened by Saugerties detectives in 2019, versus five in 2018; 37 burglary investigations were conducted in 2019, two more than in the previous year, and seven fewer felony larceny cases were investigated in 2019 than 2018’s 36. Four fewer sex offenses were investigated from 2018’s 24. Detectives handled 37 death investigations and 18 narcotics investigations.
In 2019, officers revived 13 overdose victims using naloxone; of these incidents, two were ultimately fatal.
Domestic violence incidents decreased by 12 percent in 2019, which Sinagra attributes to the department’s new Intimate Partner Violence Intervention program. Since April 1 of last year, officers have conducted lethality assessments, based on victim interviews, and pairs victims with a crime victim’s advocate and a “victim support letter” that outlines victim resources, hand-delivered by a police officer within 24 hours of a domestic incident deemed high-risk.
“For the first time, we were able to decrease the recidivism rates of domestic violence,” said Sinagra. “When you take a look at the trend for the last six, seven years there was a trend upward. We did a good job of educating the community so that they realized that what they thought wasn’t domestic violence is domestic violence.”
Saugerties’ school resource officer, Officer Travis Winchell, handled 86 incidents in 2019 — only four of these cases, according to the department’s report, were closed by an arrest.
While the department wrote nearly 200 fewer traffic tickets in 2019 (1,786) than in 2018 (1,984), they issued 130 more parking tickets in both the town and village — 1,724 in total. Seven pedestrians were struck by cars in Saugerties in 2019; only one was struck in 2018.