Raccoon killing in Coeymans prompts wildlife sensitivity training for cops

April 24, 2018 07:02 PM

ALBANY COUNTY - Watervliet is surrounded on three sides by woods.  And calls for help with animals -- domestic and wild -- are up.

"It seems more construction pushes animals into our city," explained Watervliet Police Chief Mark Spain.

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But it's cell phone video -- captured by a resident in March in Coeymans -- of two police officers there running over a rabid raccoon with their patrol car that led to a nuisance wildlife class for law enforcement across Albany County.

NewsChannel 13 asked the class coordinator, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, "Was this in response to the Coeymans issue?" He responded, "Absolutely, yeah it was. This was not something we had planned."

Representatives from Coeymans Police, along with close to 50 others from various departments, learned more about the tools they can access -- both from the county animal response team and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

"We could have prevented that from occurring so...let's come up with training and show everyone how to deal with the situation," added Apple.

A benefit for smaller agencies, like Watervliet, that will help them to better protect and serve the humans and the animals in their jurisdiction.

"Obviously, there are alternatives that not everyone thinks of to deal with and resources not identified to use that are out there," said Chief Spain, prior to the training.

No charges were filed against the Coeymans officers who ran over the rabid raccoon. Two Rensselaer officers were not charged after they ran over a woodchuck with a golf cart -- off duty -- during a union outing at Frear Park in 2016.


Abigail Bleck

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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