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News of Otsego County

police

As Oneonta Waits, AG To Investigate

Public Weighs Meaning Of Killing, Mayor Says

As Oneonta Waits, AG To Investigate

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

In addition to Sergeant Pajerski’s body cam, at least two videos of the scene are circulating on the Internet.

Not only has a police shooting made history in Oneonta, it’s making statewide history, too.

A new department in the state Attorney General’s Office, the Office of Special Investigations, created by Executive Order 147 after George Floyd’s death last May 25, opened its door on April 1, according to Sofia Quintanar, the AG’s deputy press secretary.

The office is empowered to “investigate and, if warranted, prosecute … a police officer … concerning any incident in which the death of a person, whether in custody or not, is caused by an act or omission.”

Five days later, on Tuesday, April 6, Tyler Green, 23, (also identified as Tyler Johnson in early reports), was shot twice after pulling a knife in a domestic dispute at 48 River St., by Sgt. Ralph Pajerski, an 18-year veteran of the Oneonta Police Department.

“This is the first in the state for our new department,” said Quintanar.

Both officers remain on the job, with Sergeant Pajerski on desk duty while the investigation is in progress, and his partner in responding to the 48 River situation, Officer Kristen Lapointe, resuming her regular duties, said OPD Chief Chris Witzenburg.

Pajerski

With officials and officers who have viewed Pajerski’s body cam saying it shows he acted as he had to, Witzenburg said, “The frustration for me is that it’s taking as long as it’s going to take – 6-8 weeks. But I understand they have an investigative procedure they’ve adopted, and I’m just going to have to trust it.”

Council Officially Appoints Doug Brenner As Police Chief

Council Officially Appoints

Doug Brenner As Police Chief

Mayor Gary Herzig, right, congratulates Doug Brenner after Common Council officially voted to appoint him as Chief of the Oneonta Police Department. “I feel the most important public office one can hold is that of Public Safety,” said Herzig, “and that is why I felt it was important to do a thorough search for this position. I am more than confident that he is the person for the job and I am proud to recommend him.” After the motion was passed, a grinning Brenner was applauded by council members and city officials on his appointment which officially begins tomorrow. “It feels good to put this to rest,” said Brenner, “It will be nice to be able to move forward and focus my time on other projects.” While a Lieutenant has not officially been named, the Chief says they are in the process of searching. Doug Brenner will officially be sworn in as Chief on Saturday at 9am in Council chambers. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Troop “C” Honors Officers Lost In Line Of Duty

Troop ‘C’ Honors Fallen Officers

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, is introduced to Broome County Sheriff David Harder, right, by DOT Regional Director Jack Williams before the start of yesterday’s State Police Troop “C” Memorial Day Service at troop headquarters in Sidney.  In left photo, former Station Manager of Troop “C” Marc Barbara, now serving with Troop “D”, marches in formation during the ceremony. Those honored were Troopers Covel Pierce and Timothy Pratt, and Investigator Paul Stuewer. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Southside Mall Display Honors Officers Killed by Drunk Drivers

Southside Mall Display Honors

Officers Killed by Drunk Drivers

Richard Devlin, Sr., left, and officer Jason Ritton take out panels for a new display at the Southside Mall dedicated to officers in NY State who have lost their lives to drunk drivers. Their stories and personal artifacts will be on display until the end of the month.
Richard J. Devlin, Sr., left, a volunteer with Stop DWI,  and Otsego County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Ritton take out panels for a new display at the Southside Mall dedicated to officers in New York State who have lost their lives to drunk drivers. Their stories, profiles and personal effects will be on display until the end of the month. (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)

Storm Blows Through, Trees and Wires Down, Outages

Storm Passes Through Oneonta,

Downing Trees, Lines and Power

Storms have torn through the local area recently, causing damage to public and private properties. It’s mostly trees that have fallen or been damaged in the storms so be sure to hire a company that is able to perform tree removal safely and efficiently as damaged trees can often be dangerous. The sooner you sort any damage from the storms, the safer your property will be for you and your family.

Sgt. Chris Witzenburg directs traffic on the corner of Main St.and Ford Ave. on Monday afternoon after a brief but powerful storm blew through the Oneonta area knocking out power from Tino's Pizzeria to City Hall and down South Main to Market St.
OPD Sgt. Chris Witzenburg directs traffic on the corner of Main and Ford in downtown Oneonta on Monday afternoon after a brief but powerful storm blew through the county, knocking out power from Tino’s Pizzeria to City Hall and down South Main to Market. Officers were also dispatched to direct traffic on Route 205 near Oneida Street, where power to a traffic light was knocked out.
DPW worker Larry Harriso examines a downed power line that hangs across Prospect Ave. after a nearby tree ripped the line off the side of a house.
DPW worker Larry Harrison examines a downed power line that hangs across Prospect Avenue, Oneonta, after a nearby tree ripped the line off the side of a house. Down the street at Prospect and Division, a tree split but caused no other damage.
Didn't see that coming; a downed tree on Southside across from Home Depot narrowly missed the traffic cam when it fell.
Didn’t see that coming! A downed tree across from Home Depot on Southside narrowly missed the traffic camera when it fell.

If you’ve had trees damaged by the storm then be sure to contact someone like Timber Warriors Emergency Response to get help making sure everything on your property is safe. Below are just some of the damages the powerful storm caused.

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