SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — From the Saratoga Race Course to SPAC holding events this weekend, the 30,000 population of Saratoga Springs will more than triple. The influx of tourists raises the issue of public safety.
The Spa City is no stranger to tourism. It’s expected to come to a peak this weekend with the Travers Horse Stakes and Phish concert taking place at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. SPAC was previously evacuated on July 8 due to a false bomb threat. New York Park Police Lieutenant Frank McGarity says his agency is prepared should a similar situation occur.
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“In that one particular instance, we experience one of the scenarios. We dealt with it; we dealt with it in a safe manner. And since then, we’re always learning,” said the Lieutenant.
Should any medical emergencies arise, Public Safety Commissioner Jim Montagnino, told NEWS10 that firefighters are trained to play a dual role.
“Each and everyone of our firefighters is a trained paramedic. A large contingency of them will be here for the weekend,” said Montagnino.
Nightlife should see a boost due to tourism, which leads to concerns about drinking. Saratoga Springs Police Chief Tyler McIntosh says the department coordinates with the Downtown Advisory Committee and is increasing DWI patrols to ensure that everyone is protected from intoxicated agitators.
“We’ll have some mounted officers and some bike patrols and an overall increased presence to control everyone’s safety,” the chief explained.
McIntosh says inter-agency coordination and communication is key in keeping the public safe over this busy weekend.
“Every department has limited resources, but what we found is that maintaining great relationships with the State Police Park Police and Saratoga County Sheriff’s office together with our resources, we can handle anything” McIntosh added.
For everyone visiting this weekend, especially those who will be having a sip …or two, the state Park Police Lieutenant urged caution.
“Either don’t partake or do everything in moderation” said McGarity. “It’s gonna be a long weekend. There’s gonna be a lot of people around and just take it easy and let’s all be safe and make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.”
Park Police also say that traffic can be an issue around Routes 50 and 9 because of a lane convergence.