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Budget restraints, disagreement result in less officers at Saranac Thursday after party
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Saranac Thursdays have begun for the 2013 season and from the crowds that were gathering early on in the evening, it was clear the Mohawk Valley was ready for another year of concerts, socializing and Saranac beer.
The first night of 2013 season, though, was also the beginning of what may be a new issue for Varick Street - as there will be no extra police presence at the Saranac after party.
That raises the question as to whether or not that will result in an increase in rowdy behavior?
With the abundance of people at Saranac, police presence was always utilized for the event as well as the after party. This year, though, due to financial problems and a disagreement between the city and Varick Street Bar Association, there will be no extra police officers in the area for the after party.
Sergeant Steve Hauck of the Utica Police Department says he doesn't know what will happen with a lack of officers.
"I guess it remains to be seen," Sgt. Hauck said. "We've had a presence for so many years now down there that we know what to expect. Without us down there, I think it's unpredictable, really."
This is the 15th year of Saranac Thursdays.
Last year, Saranac Thursday raised more than $35,000 that was donated to their community partner, the United Way.
The funds raised at Saranac Thursdays benefit more than 50 funded community partners and programs in both Oneida and Herkimer Counties, which serves nearly 90,000 people.