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What you need to know for 04/24/2017

Schenectady cops’ stripper party draws discipline

Schenectady cops’ stripper party draws discipline

The Schenectady Police Department will take administrative disciplinary action against several offic

The Schenectady Police Department is punishing several officers for their poor judgment in bringing strippers to the midnight platoon’s Christmas party, the department said in Friday.

The department did not announce who made that decision, but said certain officers were “found to have exercised poor judgment resulting in discredit being brought on the department.”

The department did not specify the number of officers disciplined or the nature of the penalties.

Related story

View the Dec. 22 story "Schenectady cops chastised for hiring strippers."

The officers and the strippers were observed by at least three witnesses, according to the department’s press release. At least two of the witnesses were dating or married to officers attending the party, and became irate when they saw the strippers. Another witness was a Gazette reporter.

All of the witnesses were barred from entering the party, held at Johnny Goo’s Clam Shack in Schenectady. But the bar has two large door windows, which provide an unimpeded view of the stripper pole set in the center of a large table inside.

Officers gathered around the table as women danced provocatively. There were concerns that some officers could have gone too far and touched the women sexually, which would be a crime. But police interviewed every employee at the bar and all of the officers who attended the party, and determined that none of the officers broke the law.

“No credible evidence was found,” the department said in a press release.

Although the event was well-attended by platoon members and the platoon sergeant, Chief Brian Kilcullen said he knew nothing of it until he was notified through a Daily Gazette inquiry the day after the party.

He immediately said the officers exercised “poor judgment” in hiring the strippers, and launched an investigation. After the report was completed Friday, Kilcullen and Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett declined to answer any questions.

Mayor Gary McCarthy said they had not discussed any other actions with him, including new policies to better regulate the annual platoon parties.

“We hope that people just use better judgment,” McCarthy said. “Although we do have higher expectations for them 24/7, you can’t regulate the lives and behavior totally when they’re off-duty.”

Some City Council members had said police leaders should consider new policies: that all official parties be “family-friendly” and safe transportation plans made for all events that include alcohol.

Bennett had said officers should be mature enough to avoid driving drunk without an official policy. But he had said he would consider it and other ideas.

Council President Margaret King said she would be willing to discuss those ideas, but said she thinks disciplining the officers involved is enough.

“I’m satisfied with the current actions,” she said. “Hopefully, they’ve learned their lesson.”

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