Letter to the editor from PBA Secretary urges the public not to rush to judgment of police officers

Letter to the editor from PBA Secretary urges the public not to rush to judgment of police officers
PBA, 2004-01-21

PBA Secretary and Troop G Delegate Jeff Kayser wrote a letter to the editor to the Times Union newspaper in response to critics of Albany police officers involved in a New Year’s Eve shooting. In his letter, Kayser urges the public to place themselves in the police officers’ shoes and also not to rush judgment of the officers. To read the letter, click on the link or refer to the text below.

First published: Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I am writing to address the criticisms pointed at the Albany Police officers involved in the New Year’s Eve pursuit and shooting.

The death of David R.A. Scaringe was certainly a tragedy and I extend my condolences to his family and friends. However, before the public rushes to judgment and condemns the officers involved, they also should consider another perspective.

These two officers came to work that afternoon not knowing what the shift would bring, but ready to protect and serve the citizens of Albany. You can be sure the Lt. Finn shooting was in the back of every officer’s mind throughout the Capital Region, including officers Bonanni and Gerace.

Nevertheless, they donned their gear and went out on the streets as they do every day, to face the dangers inherent to police work that only a police officer knows. Subsequently, the two officers and their respective families’ lives will never be the same. You cannot imagine the anxiety those two officers will wrestle with for the rest of their lives, unless you know firsthand the terror of a shooting incident.

I am a 17-year state trooper from Troop G who is an elected statewide representative for the union representing all state troopers. I do not know either of the Albany Police officers involved, but I can tell you firsthand the emotional and physical aftereffects from a tragedy such as this are overwhelming to any police officers involved. The dangers that are inherent to police work are immediate and unforgiving and very often must be dealt with in fractions of a second.

Do not rush to judgment before all the facts are investigated and presented — there may be some things we do not know yet.


Troop G&H Director/Secretary

NYS Troopers PBA