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Saratoga Springs City Council votes to install surveillance cameras downtown

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Albany/HV: Saratoga Springs City Council votes to install surveillance cameras downtown
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Following a recent spike in criminal activity, the Saratoga Springs City Council addressed several measures aimed at curbing crime Tuesday night. YNN's Matt Hunter has more.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A mother of three and longtime resident of Saratoga Springs, Robin Dalton, isn't alone when she says a recent spike in criminal activity has left her "uneasy."

"I find myself, for the first time, nervous to walk somewhere in my neighborhood after the sun sets,” Dalton said while addressing the Saratoga Springs City Council Tuesday night.

"Right now, much of the police presence is focused on Caroline Street in the downtown area, so sometimes you really feel like you're out there by yourself."

Dalton was one of handful people at the meeting who voiced their concern about several assaults and robberies in recent weeks, including a gruesome machete attack last Tuesday and the attempted robbery of a woman on Granger Avenue days earlier.

Assistant Police Chief Gregory Veitch tried to quell some of residents' fears.

"I would hate to see us get into a situation where we are thinking things are more dangerous than they are,” Veitch told audience members during a presentation.

“If you add up the numbers, you will see we have a relatively stable crime rate and that these things are unusual in Saratoga Springs,” he said later.

The City Council has taken steps to address the issue. On Tuesday, members voted to spend more than $50,000 to install six surveillance cameras downtown. Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan also proposed spending some of the city's $1.8 million in surplus funds on crime prevention measures like increased staffing and more foot and bike patrols.

"When you start getting that feedback from the general public, you need to respond and respond quickly and swiftly and efficiently," Madigan said.

While no formal proposals were voted on, law enforcement and concerned residents agree some of the added measures can't come soon enough.

"Increasing staffing will, of course, get us back to some of the levels we were at before and hopefully allow us to be able to do a little bit more proactive policing than we've certainly been able to do in the last year, year and a half," Veitch said.

"I think there needs to be immediate and concise action so the citizens of Saratoga can feel safe," Dalton said.

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