Field Services Division
The Field Services Division includes two divisions and several units which provide 24 hour uniformed police patrol and investigation of criminal offenses. The goal of the Field Services Division is to provide the citizenry with prompt, courteous, and professional services and to preserve the public peace through the enforcement of State and local laws and through the deterrence and apprehension of criminal offenders.
The Colonie Police Department has added a police bicycle patrol to patrol the neighborhoods, parks, bike paths, parking lots and business areas of the Town. The objective of the bicycle patrol is to reduce crime by enforcing laws through proactive policing and to better communicate with our residents by being more approachable than in a patrol car. The bicycles allow for quick and silent response to emergencies and allow officers to foil crimes in progress with a silent approach. In addition to routine patrol the bicycles are utilized for special events.
The Investigations Division is responsible for the investigation of crimes committed within Colonie and has several units and sub-specialties including Special Investigations, Forensics, Juvenile and Computer Crime.
Computer Crime Unit
The Computer Crime Unit continues to adhere to its mandate to investigate online criminal activity, conduct undercover online investigations and provide forensic analysis of digital materials. The unit's role of proactively working in an undercover capacity has expanded with member affiliation in the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force and New York State Police Internet Crimes Against Children. Our Investigators work side by side with the FBI, NYSP and the other member agencies to proactively investigate any case involving the use of computers or other technology to victimize children. These cases range from cyber bullying to child pornography to luring a child. These affiliations have broadened our investigative ability and fostered successful prosecutions in our jurisdiction and nationwide.
There continues to be an increase in the need for forensic analysis of computer materials. The Colonie Police Department has the ability to provide forensic analysis and works with local, state and federal municipalities to do so. The unit has investigated cases ranging from simple harassment to forgery, embezzlement, identity theft, missing persons, child abuse and exploitation. In each case, the capabilities of the unit to examine computer media and recover evidence have proven extremely valuable to both investigators and prosecutors.
Members of the Computer Crime Unit continue to conduct community programs for parents, teachers and students on internet safety.
The Forensic Unit is made up of two investigators specially trained in evidence handling and photography. These investigators receive and process evidence gathered by officers of this department during the course of an investigation. Investigators examine physical evidence including fingerprints which may be submitted to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the New York State Police or the Federal Bureau of Investigations laboratories for analysis and possible identification.
The Colonie Police Forensic Unit was one of the first specialty forensic units in the Capital District. The science of crime scene processing and evidence recovery plays a crucial role in the prosecution of criminal cases. Investigators in this unit receive detailed and ongoing training in the latest forensic trends.
The Juvenile (JV) Unit is comprised of five Juvenile Investigators that investigate incidents involving crimes committed by or against youths (under 16 years of age). Incidents may range from minor offenses to all other crime classifications.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigates all illegal drug and vice-related crimes in the Town. They also assist and support the Investigation Unit in investigating crimes against persons and property. The Special Investigation Unit continues to work closely with local, state and federal agencies as well as local task forces. Money seized was used to buy new equipment such as ruggedized computer tablets, etc. for use by officers.
The Colonie Police Department K-9 Unit originated in 1978 with the acquisition of a dual-purpose German Shepherd trained in patrol functions as well as narcotic detection to assist officers in their regular course of duties as well as serve as a crime prevention tool. The K-9's ability to locate hidden contraband or a hidden suspect can save the officer's time and their exposure to potentially life threatening situations. The team is a normal patrol unit and will respond to routine calls for service as well as perform their specialized duties as a K-9 team.
The K-9 Unit is responsible for the following:
- Tracking for missing persons including children and at risk elderly
- Tracking for fleeing suspects
- Searching for evidence in large areas
- Crowd Control
- Narcotics Detection
- Handler Protection
- Building Searches and Area Searches for suspects
The Colonie Police Department currently has one K-9 Team – K9 Vader and his partner, Officer Gerald Shaw. The team is certified in both Patrol and Narcotics Detection by The NYS Dept. of Criminal Justice Services. In addition to the performing the above tasks, the K-9 team also participates in many demonstrations for the public and students in the Town.
The Colonie Police K-9 Unit has seen much community support and has been the recipient of generous donations.
Colonie Police Department K-9 Teams
|Dog name||Officer name||Years Active|
|K-9 Vader||Officer Gerald Shaw||2013 – Present|
|K-9 Patriot||Officer Mark Mauro||2004 – 2011|
|K-9 Beny||Officer Gerald Shaw||2003 – 2013|
|K-9 Hano||Officer Jeffrey Hellkamp||1999 – 2004|
|K-9 Dallas||Investigator Alexander Rinaldi||1995 – 2000|
|K-9 Sampson||Officer Christopher Ruff||1995 – 2003|
|K-9 Zar||Officer Jeffrey Hellkamp||1994 – 1999|
|K-9 Emir||Officer Michael Cerone||1990 – 1998|
|K-9 Randy||Officer Joseph Fitzsimmons||1981 – 1991|
|K-9 Dusty||Investigator James Gerace||1981 – 1994|
|K-9 Baron||Officer Bruce Harper||1978 – 1985|
The Motorcycle Unit consists of four officers and a Sergeant and their Harley Davidson motorcycles. Officers assigned to the Motorcycle Unit handle all patrol functions as well as special events such as parades, escorts and funeral details. They offer the additional benefit of being able to patrol the Town bike path and other locations traditional patrol vehicles cannot access.
The Colonie Police Patrol Division consists of three lieutenants, nine sergeants and 63 patrol officers. Part of the Patrol Division is the Traffic Safety Unit which consists of one Lieutenant, one Sergeant and four Traffic Investigators. These officers are deployed throughout eight patrol zones, 24 hours per day.
Officers assigned to the Patrol Division work one of three shifts:
- A-Line: 10:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.
- B-Line: 6:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
- C-Line: 2:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Thirty marked and unmarked vehicles are assigned for use by the Patrol Division. Members of the Patrol Division duties include, but are not limited to:
- Proactive police patrol and crime prevention.
- Enforcement of the New York State Penal Law.
- Traffic enforcement.
- Crash investigation.
- Reporting and preliminary investigation of criminal complaints.
- Respond to non-criminal complaints (disputes, assisting motorists).
- Responding to calls for service.
Patrol officers participate in special enforcement programs such as “Operation Mainstreet,” where officers are deployed in plainclothes and unmarked cars to take a proactive approach against drugs and criminal activity on Colonie's streets. These officers also actively participate in many highway safety programs including Buckle Up New York and Stop DWI. Both programs focus on reducing injuries and eliminating fatalities on our roadways through aggressive enforcement activities.
Special Services Team
The Colonie Police Department Special Services Team is trained to be proficient in the use of tactical techniques and operations that are designed to terminate armed confrontations with the minimum use of force.
The Special Service Team consists of 18 members of the Police Department. Members of the team are on call 24 hours of the day and work regular assignments in Patrol, Detectives, Narcotics, Community Relations and Training. The Team is used for high-risk warrant services, barricaded suspects, hostage situations, high risk suicidal persons, sniper incidents and dignitary, VIP protection. Volunteer team members also provide Honor Guard details for the Police Department.
Traffic Safety Unit
The Traffic Safety Unit, as a component of the Patrol Division, is comprised of four uniformed investigators, one sergeant and one lieutenant who are specially trained in several areas of traffic services including, but not limited to traffic enforcement, crash investigation and reconstruction, motor carrier safety regulations and hazardous materials incident management. This unit has the responsibility of investigating all collisions involving a fatality, life threatening physical injury or crashes involving Town owned vehicles. In addition, they collect and analyze crash and enforcement data, then develop and implement countermeasure programs that address identified highway safety problems. These investigators respond to the community's concerns involving traffic issues that include complaints of traffic volume, signage and vehicle traffic violations. This unit supports and assists the efforts of the Town of Colonie's Highway Safety Committee.