Report on Schenectady police party sent back for further investigation

Friday, January 11, 2013
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— Police investigators need to delve deeper into the platoon Christmas party that involved strippers, Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett said.

He received a final report from investigators this week, but sent it back because he wanted more information.

He looked it over with Chief Brian Kilcullen and formulated a list of additional investigation they wanted done, Bennett said. Among those aspects: he wants more people interviewed.

“We’re looking for some additional statements,” he said. “We have some additional questions.”

The department’s midnight platoon hired strippers for its annual Christmas party. The event was held at Johnny Goo’s Clam Shack, which is owned by a retired police officer.

According to witnesses, police celebrated for hours by drinking and watching the strippers. Spouses, who were not invited to the event, complained. City Council members said they expected a more professional event for an official party, and Kilcullen called it “poor judgment.”

But questions remain about whether officers broke the law — it is illegal to touch a stripper sexually, but not to look at them — and who approved the party. Bennett said he wanted to know whether “misconduct” occurred and whether any departmental policies were broken.

He has told investigators to finish the report by Friday.

In addition to interviewing more witnesses, Bennett said investigators haven’t resolved exactly what the state liquor laws are when it comes to strippers at bars during private parties.

“We also want a little clarification on the liquor law, which we’re going to have to get from the State Liquor Authority,” Bennett said.

In general, the law prohibits bars from selling alcohol if strippers at the bar are entirely naked, but not if they are only topless. It’s not clear whether the law is different during a private party.

SLA officials said the same law applies because the bar is selling liquor, but Bennett said city officials have not received confirmation of that.

The nudity ban was written on the theory that mixing alcohol and sexual tension was more likely to lead customers to violence and other misbehavior, according to the state legislation.

The party has also sparked discussion from City Council members, who suggested new policies regarding designated drivers. Bennett said he will discuss that measure — but added that he believes the officers should not need to be told that they can’t drive drunk.

City Council members also said they want a far more professional party — something similar to a wedding reception, rather than a “frat party,” as Councilman Carl Erikson put it.

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January 11, 2013
9:49 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Are we still beating this dead horse? This goes to Wayne Bennett too, these are adult's that are not owned by the Gazette or the Police Department in Schenectady. I will guarantee you that every one of you hypocrites criticizing these guys have been to a bachelor party that had strippers. What these officers do on their own time at a private function is not anyones business, especially Kathleen Moore and the Gazette. Give it a rest, these useless stories have done more damage to Schenectady than 100 gang members, think about that before you write your next story.

January 12, 2013
8:53 a.m.

If uninvited wives 'complained,' this event is more about the false sense of entitlement first responders may adopt. It highlights the potential marital/relationship problems police personnel can have. I think i read there was a high percentage of younger, rookie participants. If so, less time and resources should be spent investigating and splitting hairs, and more time and resources invested in insuring officers receive necessary supports to keep their relationships congruent.

January 12, 2013
11:50 a.m.
mezz3131 says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
January 12, 2013
rsmall803 says...

i seem to remember,somewhere in the past, that a police offificer is always on duty. they should have used better sense.

January 12, 2013
2:43 p.m.
mezz3131 says...

If they are always on duty, they should be getting paid 3x the amount they do now, right?

January 12, 2013
3:07 p.m.
wmarincic says...

The bigger question is where did Kathleen Moore get this information about a private party at a private venue and did she obtain this information legally? She is making many accusations here by saying that there are wives of Police Officers complaining, I don't believe it...We have a reporter for a newspaper putting careers on the line and as a taxpayer I want to know where this information came by and if it was gotten legally and if there is any proof to back up these accusations, if not I would call for the termination of this reporter.

January 12, 2013
3:35 p.m.
grant18 says...

Anyone who doesn't believe Kathleen Moore is a careful, accurate reporter should ask Steve Raucci for his opinion!

January 12, 2013
3:37 p.m.
reader1 says...

grant - Hope you are being sarcastic

January 12, 2013
4:24 p.m.
wmarincic says...

City Council members also said they want a far more professional party — something similar to a wedding reception, rather than a “frat party,” as Councilman Carl Erikson put it.

Hey Carl, a private party being attended by private citizens is none of your business, period.....The city did NOT pay for this party, it was not a sanctioned police party and it is no ones business, period.... We don't live in Comunist China, yet.

January 12, 2013
4:31 p.m.
kmiac says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
January 12, 2013
11:56 p.m.
wmarincic says...

We all know her source, her source was the basis for another anti police article not that long ago...


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