March 19th, 2009 in Breaking News, Martial Law

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US city mayor considers martial law

Capital News 9 | 24 Hour Local News | TOP STORIES | Schenectady mayor considers options, martial law over police woes.

The mayor said there is another option - and that would be declaring martial law. The governor would have to declare it and then the National Guard would come in. The mayor said it’s more for a transition to a new police force if that were to happen.

He said, “It may be that as a stopgap measure, that you would need military forces - State Police, National Guard.”

Mayor Stratton said the temporary measure would last until the new police force took over.

Schenectady’s Corporation Counsel John Van Norden said, “If you abolish the police department you still have a need - not an obligation - but a need to police the community. You would need something in transition. Declaring martial law would be one way to bridge the gap.”

“It’s a contrived scenario,” said the mayor. “But it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities if you go that particular route.”

Chief Chaires said, “When I think of martial law, I think of rioting. I think of Watts riots and things like that. I haven’t seen anything that rises to that level. I was a little surprised to hear that.”