HUDSON FALLS — If you live in Hudson Falls or drove through the village last week, you undoubtedly saw lots of police cars and officers who were stopping drivers.
Hudson Falls Police, State Police and Washington County sheriff's officers seemed omnipresent along the Main Street corridor for three days, using both marked and unmarked police vehicles to pull over drivers.
At one point Thursday afternoon, six State Police and Hudson Falls Police cars could be seen patrolling a stretch of Route 4 between the River Street intersection and the village line. Three of them had vehicles pulled over at the same time.
Later in the afternoon, two unmarked cars had stopped a vehicle near the John Street intersection, and the driver was out of the vehicle.
The result of the effort was 298 traffic stops in 3 days, with 37 arrests and 91 tickets issued, according to State Police. Two people wanted on arrest warrants were picked up, while most of the arrests were for "low-level" misdemeanors or noncriminal violations.
"As we know, the Hudson Falls area has an issue with crime, so we coordinated some additional resources with the (Washington) County Sheriff's Office and Hudson Falls Police Department," said State Police Capt. Walter Teppo.
Hudson Falls Police Chief Scott Gillis acknowledged the crackdown late last week and said dozens of tickets had been issued, but referred comment to State Police. He said he was happy for the other agencies' help.
"It was nice to see the agencies working so well together," Gillis said.
Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy said his agency assisted as well, but it was a State Police-organized initiative, and he referred comment to State Police administration at the Wilton station.
State Police in Wilton have deployed a new team of troopers, similar to the "Impact" program. "Impact" is an acronym for "Integrated Municipal Police Anti-Crime Teams," and State Police have used the teams in other parts of the state, mostly cities, but had not publicized the effort locally before.
The agency provides teams of troopers in uniform and plainclothes to saturate a high-crime area, making traffic stops for all vehicle and traffic violations they witness.
Teppo, who commands troopers in Washington, Warren and Saratoga counties, said the local effort was not formally part of the "Impact" program but was, rather, part of an assistance program for police departments dealing with crime issues. He said eight marked patrol vehicles as well as unmarked vehicles were involved, as was the state Division of Parole.
He said State Police were involved in similar efforts in Gloversville and Amsterdam recently. The thrust of the effort was not to target traffic issues, but to focus on crime, Teppo said.
Teppo said State Police were discussing similar efforts to assist other police agencies in the region in the coming months.