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News of Otsego County

police

Otsego Sheriff wants more County support

Otsego Sheriff wants more County support

By Kevin Limiti • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The Otsego County Sheriff’s office is having difficulty staffing and retaining deputies and corrections officers, a problem Sheriff Richard Devlin blames on low pay, excessive overtime, and what he calls “a lack of support” from the county.

Currently, there are 11 open positions for corrections officers at the Otsego County Jail in Cooperstown, which Sheriff Devlin says causes health issues for its officers required to work longer shifts, and problems with the upkeep at the facility itself.

“If you have a person working a 16-hour shift they’re not as fresh as someone working an eight-hour shift,” Sheriff Devlin told The Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta. “There needs to be interest from the County Board to see these problems.”

New State Police Commander focused on recruitment
Major Jeffrey Van Auken, the new Troop C commander for the NY State Police, is hoping to attract new recruits in the Otsego County area.

New State Police Commander focused on recruitment

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Jeffrey Van Auken, the new Troop C commander for the New York State Police, has come a long way in his career.

He is a Navy veteran who was deployed to Iraq and the Middle East at multiple points, the last time as an intelligence officer.

Now he’s focusing on recruiting for the State Police. He especially wants to draw from those whose backgrounds encompass the coverage area that include parts of Otsego County such as Oneonta, Cooperstown, and Richfield Springs. Troop C’s headquarters are in Sidney.

Man arrested for using counterfeit bill at Schneider’s Bakery
Photo showing arrest of man using fake bill at Schneider’s Bakery. (Facebook)

Man arrested for
using counterfeit bill
at Schneider’s Bakery

Staff Report • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

A man using a fake $100 bill at Schneider’s Bakery was arrested on Main Street on Monday after being observed by the family who runs the bakery.

According to the Schneider’s Bakery Facebook page, a couple came in and made a small purchase but asked for change of a $100 that was clearly fake. They were observed later on Main Street and at least one man was arrested by the Cooperstown PD.

Robinson murder trial goes to jury, verdict expected Wednesday
Dylan Robinson, right, appeared in Otsego County Court on Monday, June 21, to face charges that he murdered his father, Kenneth Robinson in 2019. (Kevin Limiti/AllOtsego.com).

Robinson murder trial
goes to jury,
verdict expected Wednesday

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOERSTOWN — The second day of the Dylan Robinson trial at the Otsego County Courthouse ended Tuesday, June 22, with jury deliberations, after the prosecution rested and the defense chose not to submit any evidence.

Robinson is accused of allegedly killing his father, Kenneth Robinson, and burning his house after a failed robbery attempt. He is charged with second-degree murder, burglary and attempted robbery in the first degree and third-degree arson.

Tuesday morning testimony began with Cory Robinson, 14, who testified that he remembered the night of Oct. 10, 2019 “because that’s the day my dad died.”

Cory Robinson, 12 at the time, was awoken by gunshots in the house.

He said that armed people came in his home wearing blue bandannas and he recognized two of them as his brother Dylan Robinson and Alexander Borggreen. Someone pointed a gun at him and asked for his phone, so he gave it to them.

Afterwards, he and his brother, Aiden, were told to put pillows up to their faces and walked a short distance from the house. They were told to walk back and found their home in flames.

He found Kenneth Robinson’s body when he came back to the house. “When I took the pillow off, I saw my dad,” Cory Robinson said.

Man arrested for allegedly discharging weapon during altercation at Oneonta Speedway

Man arrested for
allegedly discharging weapon
during altercation
at Oneonta Speedway

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Randy Lamont Butler, 28, was arrested for allegedly discharging a gun at the Speedway in Oneonta in the early hours of Sunday, June 6, Oneonta police say.

The incident started when Butler got into a verbal altercation with a woman at the Speedway at 325 Main St., which spilled out into the parking lot, where another woman also got involved, according to Lt. Chris Witzenberg, the city’s acting chief of police.

According to Witzenberg, this is the first time a gun was illegally discharged in the city since 1999.

Police review leaves behind serious debates

Police review leaves behind serious debates

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Oneonta’s Common Council will likely meet its self-imposed June 1, deadline to review, and change or adopt, the city’s Community Advisory Board’s recommendations for the Oneonta Police Department, Mayor Gary Herzig said Tuesday, May 17.

Among the topics being discussed are the status of no-knock raids in Oneonta, making statistics of crime and arrests available to the public and a review board to examine the high number of arrests of people of color.

“The city’s process has been very good. We’ve had input from a large number of community members,” Herzig said. “The council is researching our ability to implement those plans … I’m happy with the fact that we took the governor’s order to heart and out of it came a very robust report.”

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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