LAKE GEORGE - With the cooperation of the town of Lake George, village officials have decided to strengthen their police presence during the Americade week, Mayor Bob Blais said this week.
Last year following the annual Americade rally, the village held a public meeting to discuss problems encountered with the large crowds, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Several homeowners and business property owners spoke about the noise, disturbances and inconveniences associated with hosting the rally. Mayor Blais attributed the complaints to the large influx of non-Americaders that come to the village to party and be part of the rally itself. Traditionally the bars are filled to capacity and traffic congestion and parking create numerous problems for the local authorities.
Several times in the past., Canada Street had to be blockaded by law enforcement to calm the large, rowdy crowds on open decks. All those attending the 2009 meeting agreed this was unacceptable and many suggestions were put forth, Blais said this week.
"Knowing that the Sheriff's Office is stretched to the maximum and their budget has been trimmed as well, we decided to step up to the plate and invest in extra patrols for the weekend," Mayor Blais said.
Warren County Sheriff Bud York has agreed to dedicate one patrol to cover the village's residential areas from Wednesday to Saturday. The Village has decided to also put four officers on duty on Canada Street to assist the village's Peace Officers on Friday and Saturday nights. These officers will be assigned to the residential areas of the Village during Americade week, as well as four additional foot patrolman in the business district. The additional cost for overtime will be approximately $4,000 and be shared by the Town and Village.
The presence of extra deputies on Canada Street and in areas where residents have experienced problems in the past will help out some of the problems, Blais said. The deputies will augment all of the village's eight Peace Officers, who will be on duty throughout the weekend, he said.
"While the Americade Rally itself is a big economic boost for our businesses, the size and nature of the crowds on the weekend create many problems for our village," the Mayor said. "This investment and cooperation of the Sheriff's Department should help to lessen some of the inconveniences of the past."