Monday, August 14, 2017

Mayor Hamilton Comments

Two hours ago, Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton issued this statement about the weekend's violence.
Citizens of Hudson, we experienced two separate incidents over the weekend involving gunfire, resulting in injuries to two adults and two young children. The first incident occurred on Saturday night in Rope Alley, where at least six bullets were fired at a car containing a man, woman, and child. The woman was hit and suffered significant damage to her shoulder. The Hudson Police Department called in additional resources from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the New York State Police to assist in the investigation and provide a dramatically increased presence on the streets Sunday. Despite the markedly increased police presence, with officers constantly patrolling by foot and car, there was a second gun-related incident on Sunday night, resulting in injuries to one adult female and two small children.
Based on information available to HPD prior to this weekend and information gathered from witnesses, neighbors, etc., it is clear that these two incidents are related; they are also likely connected with the gun-related incidents that occurred earlier this year on North Fifth Street and in front of the Half Moon on Front Street.
HPD has identified several suspects who are being interviewed. This process will continue until all those involved are brought to justice. I urge anyone who has any information or who may have seen something--no matter how inconsequential it might seem--that could be a lead, to contact HPD immediately at (518) 828-3388.
It is natural that situations like this make everyone in the community feel uneasy. Rest assured that the Hudson Police Department, working in close partnership with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, the New York State Police, and the Columbia County District Attorney's Office, is working around the clock to identify and apprehend all individuals involved in these crimes. I am grateful for the diligence, professionalism, and commitment shown by all parties in their handling of these matters.
I would like to express my concern for the victims of these crimes and their families. I wish you all a speedy recovery, and hope that seeing justice served will help you to heal emotionally as well.
Friends and neighbors, be vigilant. Be watchful and kind to each other as members of one community.


  1. Three nights before the gun play at The Half Moon, it was well known that a band of young men and woman were camped out on lower Allen Street until 4 AM. None of the neighbors called the HPD, but if they had then things might have turned out differently a few nights later.

    Two reasons were given for why neighbors did not call the police, despite the very late hour.

    One was that the HPD was called to the neighborhood the night before, and it's an unwritten rule that you don't phone the police two nights in a row.

    The other reason stated by several people was that the HPD is now asking anyone who reports crimes for information the police have no business asking, such as people's birthdays.

    Decent people are not going to phone in crimes if they're made to feel like suspects. People are increasingly reticent to report anything, and just when we need them to do so.

    For the good of the city, the HPD had better wake up to a growing public relations problem.

  2. This is the first time in a very, very, very long time that a statement of facts so well written, so coherent, so considered, and released in a time fashion, has come out of the Mayor's Office.

    Well done.

    As to that "unwritten rule that you don't phone the police two nights in a row", it's also an unknown "rule", as well as a ridiculous accusation.

    1. 1.

      Evidently, the unwritten rules of police-civilian interactions are unknown to people like yourself.

      Some of these unwritten rules are the very best rules, such as the Golden Rule, which is unwritten and which fosters mutual respect, and thus a mutual concern for everyone's safety from toddlers to the police officers.

      When these beneficial but mostly unconscious "rules" go awry, they begin to pathologize. During the incident described in the earlier comment, two residents actually held their phones in their hands and yet did not contact the HPD. A third approached the provocative mob himself, and had his life threatened. No call was made from that quarter either, and three nights later there was gun play only feet away.

      But instead of recognizing that something is amiss, your comment strikes me as more concerned with supporting a team. To you these real-world problems lead in one direction only, to "ridiculous accusations."

    2. 2.

      Whether overtly, or only deep down, every police department in the land knows the importance of cultivating civilization's formative unwritten rules. Because the police are entrusted with enforcing society's rules, and are provided the tools to do it, they bear the greater weight in the social equation not to let mistrust overtake the whole.

      This is accomplished in first-hand exchanges, and even in a friendly wave. I always wave to cops, or if I speak with one wish him or her a safe day. I hope that most people do this.

      That said, police departments themselves should reach out to their communities, and initiating dialogues with those they're pledged to protect, particularly citizens who live on the front lines. Chief Moore did that when he first assumed his post, and it was wildly popular.

      Nowadays, though, the HPD wants to record your birthdate after you've called in a drug deal.

      If you're more than a team player, then consider and defend the chilling effect that's already having on people who'd otherwise make that phone call.

      I'm guessing you'll say that you have nothing to hide, implying that people who don't place that call do. That's a familiar reply from someone who, in my opinion, poses a significant threat to the Bill of Rights.

      A subtler argument you might make is that the terrified citizens described above, most of whom are renters, ought to know that not actually owning the properties they occupy doesn't make them second-class citizens.

      I'd agree with that argument, but it's beside the point. What's required is first recognizing that problems exist, and then seeking out a holistic solution.

      One of the obligations which comes with policing, wherein officers hold all the legitimate force in any relationship, is recognizing that that force can be perceived as menacing to innocent people.

      Personally, I don't want to report my birthday to any cop on the street, even though it's already on record. I'm not required to do so, and it makes me uncomfortable. But if I decline, what should I expect to happen next? And have I offended an officer I may need to rely on in future? Will she tell her fellow officers that I'm a problem?

      If you see these troubling questions as no more than veiled "accusations," then perhaps you're just routing for a team. That tends to be divisive, and doesn't lead towards lasting solutions.

  3. I can understand the connection between the Golden Rule and cultivation of a civilized society. But the reasoning behind a rule against alerting police to a crime two nights in a row? Not only have I never heard it, I can't understand it. Can someone explain? I'm not being sarcastic or provocative, I just want to know.

  4. And while I am exhausted reading your posts, I think somewhere in the middle of it all, you said I was on a team. Which team is that, specifically?

  5. I don't know your team, "Unknown." For all I know it's "Black Lives Matter." I doubt very much that you're a cop, though, because you'd have more sense than starting out by accusing other commenters of making "accusations." (That's called a straw-man argument by the way.)

    To White Whale, every police department in the land is a mixed bag, but maybe what makes Hudson different is that we have some really great people on our force. Some of them I really admire both in and out of uniform They're good people through-and-through, and I feel gratitude to know they're keeping the peace.

    Others are less inspiring. But take a new cop who shows up on the scene: we have no idea who they are, though we always begin with the Golden Rule.

    I've already provided an example of being asked for personal information (by new cops), and no body who's minding their own business needs to respond to such questions. But that means you're starting off on the wrong foot with that officer, and the distrust may last for years.

    I can recount examples closer to my theme, but then I'd be adding to the kinds of problems I'm really hoping to lessen overall.

    Fortunately, one of the benefits of being a long-time commenter here is that people know I don't make stuff up. (An officer who doesn't read Gossips may not know it.)

    Let's just say that if you live in a high crime area of the City, and you have reason to phone the HPD on a regular basis, then YOU risk being tagged as a problem. When other renters in the area are reticent to call dispatch for their own reasons - maybe because they don't like being asked for their birthdays in the middle of the night - then fewer crimes get reported. A provocative mob intent on terrorizing a neighborhood becomes a shooting three nights later.

    I do think the HPD wants to know this, but personally, and for all the reasons stated above and more, I aim to minimize my calls to the police.

    Think of the fellow mentioned earlier who decided to confront that mob by himself, and who was then threatened if he didn't go back into his house. I'm also more apt to confront drug-selling thugs than to phone the HPD who also can't arrive very quickly.

    Is this what the HPD wants? I doubt it, but that's what's happening.

    And does anyone really believe that that is healthy for a society? You think it doesn't indicate that there's a problem? Should the HPD feel it has no part in addressing any of this? Then we have nothing to talk about.

  6. I had my own problem with the HPD when I called repeatedly to inform that a drug dealer was parked for several hrs outside out house , doing a tremendous trade on Christmas eve. No patrol car came by so I went to the station and asked to speak to who was in charge that night. I was confronted by a very unpleasant Sgt . After the usual questions, name ,address, dob and my complaint, the HPD sgt stepped back took a military stance put his hand on his side arm and told me I was not to tell him what to do and ordered me out of the station.Of course the alleged dealer was still there when I got home and was back the next day .How is that for Public Relations

    1. I'm not sure who's on narcotics these days, but I reported a regular dealer to the HPD last week and no one's gotten back to me.

      The HPD is free to use my porch for a stake-out, but for obvious reasons the dealers don't work on a regular schedule.

      It appears that citizens will have to rid themselves of these criminals without police assistance. (That should end well.)

      Fellow citizens, be on the lookout for a silver BMW with tinted windows (illegal!) and license plate:

      GXC - 767[ _ ].