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Canajoharie, NY ,

Justice requests police presence in town court

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - Updated: 10:19 PM


C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- During the first Canajoharie Town Board meeting of 2014, Town Justice Philip J. Gizzi, Jr. requested that the town fund a once-monthly court security guard.

The Canajoharie Town Court previously had an officer from the Canajoharie Police Department on hand during the proceedings held the first Thursday of each month, but they are now unable to attend. Gizzi asked permission to request court presence from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, which the board agreed to.

Gizzi said that the reason for the request is because he doesn't want anybody injured in the court. "When there has been a uniformed bailiff in the courtroom, there's a lot different atmosphere," he said, noting that it's "a lot more quiet." There are other benefits; for instance, when a uniformed officer states that there should be no electronic devices, "it makes more impact," said Gizzi.

During the court proceedings each month, the officer will be needed for a few hours, from a little while prior to the court's start time of 4 p.m. through 6:30 or 7 p.m., at the latest, said Gizzi. 

Also, Gizzi stated that since not every deputy has certification for DNA sampling, and because samples must be obtained from everybody guilty of a misdemeanor, he received DNA sample training on Tuesday, qualifying him to take samples right in the courtroom.

He stated that such training is important because there are recent cases where people living in other areas, arrested and tried in Canajoharie Town Court, have "made an honest attempt several times" to have DNA testing done, and were unsuccessful, as they couldn't find a testing facility in their vicinity. Even though attempts were made, if the person is stopped for a ticket, a background check by an officer will show that they didn't comply with DNA testing.


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