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UPDATED: Sheriff's officers meet to discuss security at Stefanik event

UPDATED: Sheriff's officers meet to discuss security at Stefanik event

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KINGSBURY — Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy said his staff met Thursday with organizers of an event planned by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik to discuss security, as groups of protesters mobilize to attend the gathering.

The meeting comes after a report by North Country Public Radio that a member of Stefanik’s campaign staff has been recruiting members of a pro-President Donald Trump group to go to the event to counteract Stefanik opponents who are expected to attend.

Stefanik is planning a town hall meeting Friday at 3 p.m. at the Kingsbury fire station on Burgoyne Avenue.

Members of the North Country Deplorables, a group that has been criticized for its tactics at demonstrations in Glens Falls, posted on Facebook that Stefanik’s staff was urging them to pack the fire station.

“This is going to be a media bloodbath with CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS and many other media outlets present. The left will be bussing (sic) in hundreds of socialists to condemn Elise for her continued support of our POTUS,” Queensbury resident Shawn Stimpson wrote. “She is asking us to show up early and secure all the seating inside the fire station so that the fake news reporters will only capture supporters clapping and cheering as she announces her accomplishments, ideas and future plans.”

Murphy said the meeting to go over the event was scheduled this week before it was revealed protesters would be attending, as his agency discusses security with Stefanik’s staff whenever she comes to the county.

Murphy said the Sheriff’s Office will treat the meeting as it does any other gathering where a crowd may be present.

“We’re planning like we do for any event,” he said. “We will have a presence there. We don’t expect there to be any problems, but we want to be there to help make sure things are civil.”

Dave Kearns, a member of the Kingsbury Fire Department board of directors who handles meeting hall reservations, said plans will be put in place for demonstrators to have space to not interrupt the meeting inside.

“Hopefully things can be handled without any trouble,” he said.

Don Lehman covers police and court matters and Warren County government. He can be reached at 518-742-3224 or dlehman@poststar.com

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Organizers of demonstrations in the city would be required to get a permit at least 10 days before the event and air horns would be prohibited under a draft local law that the Common Council will review on Tuesday to regulate the proliferating protests occurring downtown.

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