New state troopers increase patrols

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By Joe Moskowitz
If you have been driving around the Margaretville area lately, and you are under the impression that there seem to be an unusually large number of New York State Troopers on patrol, you’re not imagining things.

The reason is that there is a large influx of new troopers assigned to the Margaretville barracks. Seven new troopers have recently joined the ranks. Captain Nancy Poulin of the New York State Police says there are now 10 troopers stationed in Margaretville. Recently there were only six.
Captain Poulin says the Margaretville barracks was also affected by transfers to Oneonta and retirement. She says the increase in the number of troopers has boosted morale and she says when the numbers were so low, it was difficult to staff the barracks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Recent graduations from the State Police Academy have helped Troop C, which is headquartered in Sidney, add a total of 42 troopers.

Town of Middletown Justice Gary Rosa says the new troopers are learning this area first and that’s the reason for the concentration. But their presence in such great numbers is not making everyone happy.

Bad for business
One business owner, who prefers to not be identified, says one day he saw a trooper pull over nine cars and while the trooper was there, no one pulled into the man’s business. And, he says, a downstate skier said he would never return to this area, claiming both he and his wife were ticketed that day.

Rosa says the troopers are not targeting the area and this doesn’t happen very often. He says there has only been a slight increase in the number of tickets being issued and that’s despite the number of troopers on patrol and the fact that Rosa is handling all of the cases in the town’s justice court while Justice Glen George is on leave recovering from knee surgery.

Rosa adds that the majority of tickets being written are for equipment violations, or so called ”fix-it” tickets for things like burned out lights. There are no points or fines for those violations as the long as the operator gets it fixed by the next day.

One does not want to get a speeding ticket. A ticket for driving 46 miles an hour in a 35-mile-an-hour zone can be an expensive proposition. A maximum fine of $300, plus a state surcharge of $85 and a Department of Motor Vehicles surcharge of $300 for any speeding ticket means it can cost as much as $685. The DMV surcharge can be paid all at once or $100 a year, and that doesn’t include any potential insurance company surcharges.

Rosa says that’s why there are still plea bargains. Once in a while even safe motorists drive a little too fast. But if you do it all the time, the police will be watching you.