The Real Truth is that as disgusting, scandalous and disgraceful the raccoon incident is, it has drawn public attention to a more disgraceful and insidious problem in Ravena and Coeymans: the Incompetence of Our Elected Officials and the Apathy of the Local Community.
And we can thank a poor, unfortunate wild animal for drawing the world’s attention to that well-known but concealed fact about our communities!
The PETITION got 1.6 million likes on Facebook! As of this writing (March 25, 2018), the “Justice for raccoon killed by officers from Coeymans Police Department in New York State” petition on Care2 has 84,832 signatures of which 9,779 are from New York. The goal is 85,000. Express your outrage and add your signature here. Please help get us to the goal of 85,000 protest voices!!!
We suggest you email Town of Coeymans and Village of Ravena Officials to express your outrage:
Town of Coeymans
Philip A. Crandall – Supervisor
James C. Youmans – Council Member
Thomas E. Dolan – Council Member
Daniel D. Baker – Council Member
Kenneth A. Burns – Council Member
Daniel Contento (SGT) – Acting as Chief of Police
Coeymans Police Department – General
Truth be told, the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans would have an Animal Control Officer if the Ravena Village board and the Coeymans Town Board had not eliminated the position from the Police Department’s budget.
Truth be told, the Town of Coeymans Police Department would have the necessary equipment for animal control incidents if the Coeymans Town Board had not cut funding for the operations of the Coeymans Police Department.
Truth be told, the Town of Coeymans Police Department would have competent law enforcement personnel if the Coeymans Town Board had not cut funding for the Coeymans Police Department. The people of Coeymans wanted their police department but Coeymans elected officials refused to fund it properly.
Truth be told, the Coeymans Chief of Police, whether permanent or acting, has no authority to tell the Coeymans Town Board to provide what the Department needs. So in all fairness, acting Chief Contento must make do with what scraps Crandall and the Town Board throw him. Contento is an experienced law enforcement professional who does his job and doesn’t get into the political intrigues and infighting. He got stuck with the acting chief position because of his seniority, not because he necessarily wanted it.
Truth be told, if the Coeymans Police Department is a bunch of clowns in Kevlar vest packing guns, it’s because the Coeymans Town Board has decided it wants a bunch of clowns as law enforcement. Let’s face the facts: You can’t attract good people when you can’t offer them attractive incentives. You pay peanuts you get monkeys.
And YES, a couple of immature, unthinking, criminal dung beetles in police uniforms and operating police vehicles harassed, abused, and killed a defenseless wild animal in full view of a horrified public in a busy commercial plaza only to bring down international disgust and scandal on two otherwise backwater hill towns in New York State, Coeymans and Ravena, because their elected officials are incompetent, ignorant and out of control!
The bottom line: Bill “Moose” Misuraca, a bartender, is Mayor of the Village of Ravena, and Phil Crandall, a retired prison guard and disgraced village/town justice, is Coeymans Town Supervisor, because the voters — not necessarily the People — of the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans put them there, together with the other clowns on the Village Board and on the Town Board. The ignorant and misguided voters in Ravena and Coeymans are actually to blame for the dunces they have in their Village and Town Halls. Thank you very much! American democratic process at work…just as it was under Stalin, Hitler, and other dictatorships.
We have to laugh every time a Village or Town board meeting opens with the American secular prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, where, unlike any other civilized country in the world, a bunch of people gather to mouth words like “liberty and justice for all,” knowing full well it’s all a bare-faced lie. And we know it! Ask any honest resident like Daniel Boomer.
Truth be told, many of the statements made by Mr. Phillip Crandall, Town of Coeymans Supervisor, in his public statement made at the Coeymans Town Board public meeting, were a dog and pony act. In fact, his statement made at the public meeting and his statement published on the Town of Coeymans website are not the same!
One statement made by Crandall, in particular, is grossly incorrect: Crandall says:
“There is conflicting and contradictory information about how to respond to wildlife suspected of rabies.”
That is totally not true, and intentionally misleading! There is abundant information available on such sites as the New York State Department of Health, The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Centers for Disease Control, and many others. (Click on those links to see the sites.) The information provides coordinated and clear scientific, medical, animal control information accepted as state-of-the-art, and is available to the public — even to Mr. Crandall and the Coeymans Town Board.
Before we launch into the main body of this article, we all should be aware of several important points:
Whatever the Coeymans Police did was the responsibility of the officers involved, and this particular incident should not taint the whole Department. Credit where credit is due and blame where blame is due.
“When Sue McDonough watched the viral video of Coeymans police killing a rabid raccoon last Monday by chasing it down and running over it over with their vehicles, she said she knew the officers were in over their heads — and that there was a better solution.” [Source: Time Union, “Raccoon video prompts call for statewide animal control reform,” March 19, 2018) (Ed. Note: McDonough is a retired State Police Investigator (Troop G) and past president of the State Humane Association.)
Blame: The police personnel involved in the incident, no matter what the “test results” show, had no way of knowing that the raccoon was or was not infected with rabies. Raccoons are incredibly intelligent and very curious. Raccons also get hungry. The raccoon’s behavior, though unusual, was not evidence that the animal was rabid. The police used inappropriate judgment for their inappropriate conduct.
Blame: The police personnel involved in the incident acted like rabid teenagers rather than responsible public servants. They did not use good judgment nor did they employ the least offensive methods to get the job done. Their conduct was disappointing and indicative of characters and mental processes that should not be in law enforcement. Their actions show that they do not have the intelligence or the good judgment to make snap decisions required of competent law enforcement personnel. They must go and be banned from law enforcement. The officers involved must be held accountable under the law just like the rest of us.
Blame: The argument that discharging a fire arm at Faith Plaza is would be unsafe, to be very honest, bullshit. Law enforcement personnel authorized to carry weapons are expertly trained — or they should be — in the use of those weapons and where to point them with expectable results. Law enforcement personnel are expertly trained — or they should be — in management of a crime or incident scene and crowd control. First of all, the police have the authority and power to cordon off the entire area, even to evacuate the area, if necessary. They could have ordered all civilians into the buildings until the animal was under control and contained. Once these and other simple management operations were effected, the animal could have been mercifully, humanely and ethically euthanized by gunshot or other method with dignity and in privacy. Instead, the police personnel involved acted like so many lunatics. They must be held accountable for their poor judgment and their irresponsible behavior; they must go and be banned from law enforcement. The officers involved must be held accountable under the law just like the rest of us.
Blame: Several residents made the very true comment at the Coeymans town board meeting that if anyone other than police had done what the Coeymans police had done, they would have been arrested, arraigned and jailed. Their faces and identification would be plastered all over the media and on public access police blotters. Residents raised the very valid question of Why? the names of the police personnel involved in the incident have not been published and have been kept under wraps? Why are police personnel being given consideration that none of the rest of the community would get? Why are the police getting special treatment in a situation where any of us would be immediately shamed and punished? The names and status of the police personnel involved in the incident at Faith Plaza must be published and made accessible to the public. They are public figures and public servants; the public has a right to know who they are. This, my friends, is a matter of public safety!
Blame: The Albany County District Attorney, P. David Soares, has been in hiding with regard to this incident. Why hasn’t the Albany County District Attorney come forward with a statement, a report on this incident. Not many citizens are aware of the fact that the DA is the chief law enforcement officer in the county; the police are his responsibility. In fact, Soares, as DA, picks and chooses cases to prosecute, and as a political dog, he’s going to pick and choose the cases that will make him look good with the public and with the police unions. Like so many incidents involving police and law enforcement, this one is in Soares’, court and he’d better play it right. We demand that Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares come forward with a statement on the incident. NOW!
Blame: As we have published in our other articles, the fish rots from the head down. If Coeymans and Ravena don’t have an Animal Control Officer, it’s because the Village and Town boards eliminated the position and the funding for an Animal Control Officer. If the Coeymans Police Department does not have equipment for humane, merciful, and ethical conduct of animal control incidents, it’s because the Ravena Village and the Coeymans Town boards have not allocated funding for such equipment. If the Coeymans Police Department is populated by retarded clowns rather than well-trained, intelligent law enforcement personnel, it’s because the Ravena Village and the Coeymans Town boards have not provided funding for professionals or have hired clowns at professional rates.
Blame: If Ravena Mayor Bill “Moose” Misuraca and Coeymans Town Supervisor Phil Crandall don’t talk and don’t communicate, and if their board members have bad relations, then it’s time for new leadership, not voting in known incompetents and expecting competent government. If residents don’t attend Village and Town public meetings, then local residents are accomplices to whatever happens in the Village and Town. If you don’t participate in your local government you share the blame and are to blame for the embarrassment and scandal, the lousy reputation your community has.
Blame: If the Law Enforcement Manual used by the Coeymans Police Department is 20 years old and hasn’t been revised, updated, rewritten, replaced in 20 years, and no one notices that fact, the only conclusion to be drawn is that no one cares to follow the provisions of the manual. Our only conclusion is that the Coeymans chiefs of police and their second-in-command, as well as the rest of the freak show are not using the procedures; if they were being used, someone would certainly notice that they are out of date and do not reflect the current situation at all. This is clear negligence and incompetence. We put the blame on Coeymans law enforcement personnel, especially the Coeymans chiefs of police, and mainly on the Town Supervisor and the Town Board for not funding the Department to meet its needs.
Blame: Residents of the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans who sit home on their fat asses on election day and don’t vote!!! The voters, most of them customers of Mayor Misuraca’s gin mill and bar, and most of them rabid democrats who vote the party not the issues, are to blame. Low voter turnout is the rule not the exception in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans!
The bottom line: Most, if not all, of the blame for this and other scandalous incidents and the poor quality of life in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans must be on residents!!! Admit it, you, the community earned the lousy reputation and the shame you experience on a more than regular basis. Yet you, the communities of Ravena and Coeymans, continue to shoot yourselves in the foot by electing clowns to be your village mayor, your town supervisor, your village and town board members.
SHAME ON YOU RAVENA AND COEYMANS RESIDENTS
If all this wasn’t enough, click on the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY link below to continue reading some of the more sleazy details.
[Editor’s Note: We refer to a number of previous articles on this blog. If you are interested in the subject matter, please use the search feature on this blog using key words or names. You will be able to find the articles published on the Smalbany blog. Thank you for reading our blog and for your support.]
Coeymans Town Supervisor Crandall’s Public Stament Boils Down to Too Little Too Late!
On March 22, 2018, at 7 p.m., in the presence of at least three news stations armed with cameras and microphones, and a conspicuous Coeymans police presence, Coeymans town supervisor Phillip Crandall read a public statement in which he, representing the Town of Coeymans, stated the Town’s official position regarding the international scandal caused by the Coeymans Police botched handling of an animal control incident. (Click Supervisor’s Statement Regarding Raccoon Incident—Town of Coeymans to read Crandall’s entire public statement.)
[Editor’s Note: Mr Crandall’s statement published on the Town of Coeymans website differs substantially from Mr Crandall’s public satement made at the March 22, 2018, Town Board Meeting. We do not understand why Mr Crandall found it necessary to read one statement at the public meeting and yet publish a different statement on the Town’s website. Perhaps Mr Crandall can explain if you email him at Phil Crandall. If you can’t get through to Crandall, try the Coeymans Town Clerk.]
A very conspicuous police presence was noted by several residents attending: Five armed police officers in Kevlar vests stood at points around the room. You would have thought a high-level dignitary were about to address the assembly or that a terrorist threat had been received. Nope. Just a “normal” Coeymans town board meeting. But was the conspicuous, ominous police presence there to make a statement? Something like, “Don’t f**k with us. We are the police.” It’s a rather scary sight and a rather disturbing thought, isn’t it?
Isn’t it a bit much to have armed police milling around at a peaceful public gathering?Police state?
Crandall Makes A Public Statement — Smoke and Mirrors, Dog and Pony Act
In his statement, Crandall noted that investigations by Albany County DA Animal Abuse Taskforce, ASPCA, NYS DEC are all investigating the incident. DEC, Sheriff’s Department and Town are consulting to propose and implement to update procedures for dealing with wildlife. Problem: rabies and similar infections do not affect only wildlife. We will continue to consult with agencies and experts on how to proceed to protect the public’s safety.
Crandall also announced that the Town received results of test on the raccoon; the raccoon tested positive for rabies. Crandall doesn’t mention that the perps had no way of knowing whether the animal was a lost pet, just hungry, curious, or diseased. The results were received more than 24 hours after the incident!
Local Residents Tell it Like It Really Is
Mr. Boomer (Coeymans resident) You’ve been told for years now about the Coeymans police; they’re out of control. They won’t do anything Disappointed the way they acted, afraid of them being in our schools with loaded firearms, afraid of them being on our streets, I’m afraid of our town becoming a police state. It just gets worse and all we do is close ranks and cover up. You know what needs to be done. Anywhere else anyone in this town who abused an animal like that would be arrested. So why do we have to study this for three weeks. Mr. Boomer had more to say when the press interviewed him outside the Town Hall.
Mr Vadney (New Baltimore): Our police are held to a higher ethical and moral standard; they are law enforcement and must be held to a higher standard. I have recently examined several police procedures. They are out of date. Even worse still these procedures, including the animal control procedures, clearly state that the police are to notify the animal control officer. Coeymans has no animal control officer. I have had the opportunity to examine several police procedures including traffic stops, dealing with the public, and animal control. These procedures date back to 1998 and have not been revised, updated or replaced in 20 years. That, sirs, is not only reprehensible, it’s neglect.
Several persons traveled from Queensbury, Niskayuna, Athens to address the board and to express their anger and disappointment at how the Coeymans Police handled the situation on Faith Plaza and how they treated the raccoon.
A speaker from Niskayuna maintained that “Everyone should be held accountable, I don’t care whether it’s a civilian or the police. Everyone has to be held accountable. Another speaker from Niskayuna stated that “that was no way to treat an animal, and it doesn’t speak well for your town.”
Mr. Laszlo Polyak (Ravena) stated that there are better ways to have handled the situation even if there is no animal control officer and there should be nets or a catchpole that could be used to capture and contain the animal until the DEC or another animal control agency could intervene. Mr. Boomer, when asked by the press, “What would you have done.” Replied, “I would have put a shopping cart over the animal.” Pretty simple solution.
As for the claim that the Coeymans police officers in the two police vehicles were concerned about safety if they used their service weapons, one speaker noted that they had every option to cordon off the area, to order people out of the area, and to confine people in the Ravena Shop’n Save or any of the other businesses on Faith Plaza. In fact, their stockcar rodeo tactics were more dangerous than dispatching the animal lose range with a pistol shot. There were many other, more humane and more professional ways of handling the situation, and nothing the police have offered makes them appear any less arrogant or foolish.
The individuals must be disciplined and held accountable not only for the abuse and cruelty to the animal but for the blemish they created on the police department, the poor image made of law enforcement in general, and the scandal they caused the Town of Coeymans and the Village of Ravena.
Village of Ravena, Mayor Misuraca is cowardly passing the buck; No Wonder He’s Known as “Mayor Mouse”
The police department and law enforcement are part of the executive branch of government, and are under the supervision and control of the mayor or the town supervisor. While the chief of police or, in this case, the acting chief of police has direct oversight of the department and its personnel, he reports to the mayor or to the supervisor and to the respective boards. In other words, not only the perpetrators of the disgraceful conduct but also the mayor of Ravena, William “Moose” Misuraca, and the Coeymans Town Supervisor, Phil Crandall, must be held accountable for the actions of the law enforcement departments and personnel under their supervision and authority. Since the Coeymans Police Department also has jurisdiction in the territory of the Village of Ravena, Mayor Misuraca is cowardly passing the buck when he remarks as he did in a recent Times Union interview,
“”Ravena doesn’t have its own police force so I don’t oversee the Coeymans police, and I have no authority over them,” he said. “The Coeymans town board has authority over those police officers, so would the town supervisor. Ravena has an arrangement that allows our village to rely on Coeymans police services. But all I can do about the raccoon now is make my concerns clear and try to get questions answered.” (Times Union, March 20, 2018, “Ravena’s rabid raccoon haunts village election” ).
A statement like that made by the elected chief executive of the Village of Ravena, the municipality in which Faith Plaza (where the incident occurred), the Town of Coeymans Town Hall and police department are located, is an embarrassment and a cop out. The Coeymans Town Hall and the Coeymans Police Department are physically located at 19 Russell Avenue, Ravena, New York, in Misuraca’s village!!!
Need a Coeymans Police Officer: Check Cumberland Farms or Look Behind Stewart’s
In interviews conducted outside the Coeymans Town Hall, Mr. Boomer continued his statements at how the Coeymans Police Department is a waste of money, how Ravena-Coeymans is turning into a police state. But the most damning statement by Mr. Boomer was when he told the press that he personally observed the two Coeymans police officers and the two vehicles involved in the controversial incident at the Cumberland Farms (a coffee shop), and Mr. Boomer mused that that’s where you can generally find the Coeymans Police, there or hiding out behind the Stewart’s shop.
Police Abuse of Power in the Town of Coeymans and the Village of Ravena — The Police State
This blog has published several articles about police abuse of power in the Town of Coeymans and the Village of Ravena. Not long ago, this blog reported on Coeymans Police harassing local youth, executing illegal searches of residents’ homes, harassing traffic stops, refusal to take complaints against law enforcement personnel, refusal to proceed with investigations involving relatives of law enforcement personnel, and the list goes on. Just a couple of years ago, though, while Gregory Darlington and Gerry “Dirty-Hands” Deluca, were running the department and Deluca had an axe to grind with the then president of the RCS Board of Education, they were quick to embarrass the board president on trumped up claims by a school board member, Josephine O’Connor, that he called a her “fat”. Despite witnesses who came forward in the board president’s defense saying that he said no such thing, Coeymans Police arrested him and charged him with misdemeanor harassment. (See our article, “Josephine O’Connor: A Role Model of Maturity and Mental Stability…NOT!“) The case dragged on for months costing the board president and his family thousands to defend against a political ambush with no factual basis.
But it was completely different story when Josephine O’Connor’s father, Joe Tracey, alleged drunk and drug addict, abused a female business owner at her place of business! When the woman attempted to file a complaint, again with the support of witnesses to the abuse, Kerry Thompson, a lieutenant with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department and at the time part-timing at the Coeymans Police Department, refused to take the complaint! Rumor was that there was a conspiracy against the school board president by Deluca and Josephine O’Connor and her father, Joe Tracey, were involved. We certainly don’t want to mention another female recruit, Danielle M Crosier, at the Coeymans PD, who was allegedly receiving “special training” with Kerry Thompson, do we? You can’t make this stuff up! It’s just too bizarre and could happen only in Coeymans!
Yet, when Gerry “Dirty-Hands” Deluca’s wife was running the now defunct Ravena Fitness Center and made a false claim of harassment against a local resident visiting the Center during an open house, Detective (then Investigator) Jason Albert ignored a digital recording of the visit which clearly proved that Cathy Deluca was lying and had filed a false charge, perjuring herself and lying to a law enforcement officer, filing a false instrument —all serious crimes — because she was then Coeymans Police investigator Gerry Deluca’s wife, Albert ignored the evidence, obstructed justice, and let the case go cold. She was never prosecuted and Albert was never disciplined. In fact, he was later promoted to the rank of “detective.” Was that a reward for being a good dog, we wonder? (These incidents are reported in detail on this blog. See “Village of Ravena Served: Cathy Deluca and Ravena Health and Fitness Center under Fire“)
And Lest We Forget the Fact that Coeymans Voters Pumped Raw Sewerage into Town Hall…
Coeymans board member Tom Dolan is a perfect example of Coeymans politics. (For some insights on the Coeymans Town Board, see our article, “Return of the Scumbuckets! Coeymans Does It Again!“) Tom Dolan (D), is director of Ravena CHOICES (food stamps/SNAP), a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension, which also includes the 4-H program for youth. Here’s the irony of the Dolan story: The 4-H program claims to develop young people so that “[T]hey also get what all young people need to succeed in life–the confidence, compassion and connections with caring adults to make contributions to their communities. The program lists as one of its mandates: “Citizenship – Civic engagement is the broadest mission mandate; it incorporates youth voice,leadership, respect, history, community youth development, STEM, and Healthy Lifestyles.” Well, with Tom Dolan ensuring a stock of votes for his democrat keepers — several years ago he was involved in a scandal about “fixing” absentee ballots through the Choices program, which naturally caters for the social services needs of the local low-income, social services population at the Oakbrook Manor (they use fancy names to cover up the truth) community in Ravena. So Dolan’s CHOICES program puts a blemish on anything the 4-H represents. Oh! Did we mention that while Dolan is sitting as Ding-a-Ling-in-Chief and Waffler-Elect, his wife, Dawn Dolan is suing Coeymans. Mrs Dolan, clumsy cow, missed a step on a gazebo owned by the Town and sprained her brain (which she wears around her ankle), and is blaming the Town of Coeymans. So, while Mr Dolan is ensuring fair play and good government (Ha-Ha-Ha) on the Coeymans Board, Mrs Dolan is suing the stuffing out of the Town. Great example of Cornell Cooperative Extension citizenship! You GO! Ding-a-Ling and Clumsy Cow!
The Coeymans Police let a Potentially Homicidal Drive-by Shooting Case Go Cold
More recently, there was a potentially homicidal drive-by shooting (see our article “Drive-by Shooting Arrives in RCS” or search “drive-by shooting” on this blog) in which a vehicle drove past a local business and fired shots into the door of the office where the owner was seated. Luckily the steel door absorbed most of the shotgun blasts and the owner was uninjured. The case went cold because the State Police and the Sheriff’s Department refused to take over because the Coeymans Police were investigating. This blog has also published several articles on how Coeymans Police have botched investigations and have let cases go cold, with no arrests and no prosecutions (see “Criminals Thumbing Their Noses to Law Enforcement? Why?“). We have pointed out that the Coeymans Police, even though they complain that Supervisor Crandall has cut their budget and they lack essential equipment, can request the assistance of the Albany County Sheriff’s Department or the New York State Police. It should be noted that the Albany County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police have in the past refused to get involved without a request for assistance from the Coeymans Police Department, but Coeymans doesn’t make the request! Consequently, criminals are not apprehended and tax-paying, law abiding citizens are put at risk. This is clearly wrong.
Even Phil Crandall admits the raccoon call should not have been given to the Coeymans Police
Most residents in the Town of Coeymans and the Village of Ravena are not aware that all calls supposedly going to the Coeymans Police are routed first to the Albany County 911 Center and then they notify the Coeymans Police or the Albany County Sheriff’s Department. Coeymans dispatchers have long since gone the way of the dinosaurs. Furthermore, the Coeymans Police Department is grossly underfunded, thanks to Coeymans Town Supervisor Phil Crandall and his fully-controlled town council. Many of the law enforcement personnel in the Coeymans Police Department are actually trainees; recruits who do not have the necessary experience to properly handle even a traffic stop! We’ve reported on one such trainee, Amanda L. Mueller (see our article “Coeymans Police Turning Into Coeymans Gestapo Again?“), the daughter of the owner of the local automotive repair business, Mueller Automotive LLC, that does most of the Town of Coeymans automotive repairs, maintenance, and inspections. It’s a disaster that is costing local taxpayers an awful lot of money, causing residents unnecessary anxiety, and a department that is simply not doing the job. In fact, the bottom line is that the Coeymans Police Department has only produced abuses of police power and scandal. Even Phil Crandall admits the raccoon call should not have been given to the Coeymans Police.
There’s a time-tested expression that goes something like this: “The fish rots from the head down.” This could very easily apply to the Town of Coeymans and the Village of Ravena; the town/village stinks from its leaders down the line.