Saturday, May 31, 2008

Armed Volunteers :
Weapons, Mace
and Body Armor

Upstate New York? Or the O. K. Corral?

Private lawmen just itchin to get physical

Unable to keep the glee out of his
comments, the 34 -year-old Chief of Schenectady's brand new SPCA, Mathew Tully, can't wait to start laying down the law in Schenectady County, New York. His crew of gun-packing volunteer peace officers will have full police powers of arrest while investigating animal cruelty allegations.

"There are a lot of legal hurdles to clear because the SPCA is one of the only law enforcement entities not controlled by the government."

Armed volunteers operating in the public sector. No checks, no balances.

"Law enforcement entity not controlled by the government" you say? I got a problem with that. So does the Schenectady Daily Gazette's
Carl Strock.

'[A New York State] "peace officer” needs state-approved training, but having gotten that training, he or she then operates independently, not beholden to any city council, county legislature, mayor, or public safety commissioner, much less to the voters.'

New York State law--
CPL Art. 2, Sec. 2.10--specifies 80+ jobs to be filled by peace officers. For example, town and village constables are peace officers. So are certain employees of the Department of Taxation. Park rangers may be peace officers, with certain limitations. Some employees of the New York City Department of Health. Some uniformed court officers, parole officers, bridge and tunnel officers . . .

All of the above are at least employed by public agencies.

Now, which one doesn't belong ?

Then there are the agents of New York's private societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

They answer to no one, other than the privately-employed individual that signs their paycheck.

Misuse of public funds

Schenectady County Sheriff Harry Buffardi already pledged the support of the county sheriff's department to Tully's little band of volunteers. Buffardi plans to give the newly formed private corporation access to the county sheriff's department's radio system.

The sheriff's department will also expend public funding to answer the phone for a non-governmental entity.

Is that even legal? Somehow, I doubt it.

Sheltering animals? Not on the Schenectady SPCA radar.

Running a shelter is too expensive for the SCSPCA, apparently. Their interest is in raising funds to acquire and then use all that mace and body armor. All those guns.

And all that territory. The Schenectady County SPCA already staked out neighboring Schoharie and Saratoga counties for their agents, too. Who's next?

Boyz with their toyz

'"I guarantee you, there is no point in having an SPCA unless you increase the volume of arrests,” Tully said.'

So regardless of what is actually going on, arrests MUST go up.

All those well-meaning people who thought their donations were going to feed kittens and shelter puppies are in for a shock. They funded a vigilante posse on a mission.

Arrests must increase.

Marketing NYS Peace Officers

The icing on the cake, and
yours for just $12.50 --

the "Peace Officer" patch offered for sale by the Schenectady County SPCA.

Now you can fantasize about enforcing the law without bothering with governmental controls, too.

Private agenda. Public sector.

The public has virtually no ability to influence the operations of private corporations like the Schenectady County SPCA. It's a private company. Yet the Schenectady County SPCA's armed patrols will be operating in the public sector.

In 2002, now SCSPCA Chief Tully was a volunteer peace officer for the Columbia-Greene Humane Society Inc. Court documents detail his zealous pursuit of a particular case:

According to plaintiffs, Tully returned to their home on
October 31, 2002 and told them that, unless they immediately signed a document surrendering the 15 puppies on their premises to the Society, he would arrest them upon a misdemeanor charge of violating Agriculture and Markets Law § 357. They allege in their verified complaint that Tully, who is also an attorney, told them that it would be one or two days before they were arraigned, that he would ask for high bail and that he would "demand that [their five] children be placed by the Department of Social Services until plaintiffs made bail."

Plaintiffs signed the surrender document and were issued an appearance ticket.

The 15 puppies (allegedly with a retail value of about $9,000) were sold by the Society, which kept the proceeds. . . .

There are thus factual allegations supporting plaintiffs' contention that Tully had no basis for charging them with willfully selling a dog with an infectious disease . . .and for using the threat of immediate incarceration on that charge as a ground to gain possession of plaintiffs' 15 dogs.

How are issues of corruption and abuse of authority resolved when the alleged perpetrator is a volunteer working for a private corporation?

This ain't no disco, this ain't no party, this ain't no FOOLING around
The passed, vetoed, glitched, and finally veto- overridden 2008 Farm Bill includes all kinds of striking language.

Including the following:

Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, any animal control agency, humane society, or society for the prevention of cruelty to animals may commence a civil suit to enjoin any private party who is alleged to be in violation of any provision of this section concerning animal fighting.

"Humane society, or society for the prevention of cruelty." Meaning that private corporations are called out in a federal law for the purpose of law enforcement.

If you breathed a sigh of relief because you don't live in New York, it looks like it was sadly premature.

Private corporations, like humane societies and societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, have no business receiving special privileges or abilities under federal law.

Are we clear now ?


Anonymous said...

Be afraid. Be VERY afriad....

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone has challenged this on the basis of the 14th amendment?

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Or are some animals more equal than others?

Caveat said...

Interesting post.

The Ontario 'Liberal' (hah!) government, the coneheads who brought you the 'pit bull' (hah!) ban are revising Ontario's outdated animal welfare act as well.

Guess what? OSPCA inspectors and other 'peace officers' (which, as we know can included deputized civilians) are to be granted full police powers plus routine warrantless entry into any place where animals are sold, displayed or used for entertainment purposes. They must have gone soft, because in the 'pit bull' ban they included private residences in exigent circumstances such as when your dog might be chasing your cat around the house, for example.

It's a private charity, unaccountable to any governing or overseeing public body. The Bill also grants them ownership of the terms 'humane society', spca, etc across the province to the OSPCA.

One can't help but wonder if it's a coincidence that the Ontario Liberals have given some serious coin to the OSPCA over the past few years.

Question: Why aren't people demonstrating in the streets over these and other onerous erosions of our hard-won rights and freedoms?

The AR militant agenda is coming together nicely while everybody is asleep at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

sounds like all you people who are against it are the people they will be going after

[note from Blue Dog State:

What a half-hearted effort. Yeesh.

This particular anonymous poster forgot the usual accusations of treason, pornography and -- what the hell? -- how about unpaid parking tickets. The blog itself seems to have made no impression.

Just goes to show that you can lead an ass to water, but s/he will choose that green Koolaid every chance s/he gets.]

Caveat said...

Ha ha ha the trolls become less imaginative as time goes by.

'All of use who are against it' are the people who care about preserving the rights of citizens.

You know, the ones who can see the forest AND the trees?

"First they came for the ones who followed the issues and warned the populace and I did nothing..."

You know the rest.

Anonymous said...

“To keep the streets safe, community involvement is needed…Contact the humane agency that is going to go out and be actively involved in the investigation and then you’re going to want to contact the police dept and notify them of a crime.”

Notice that H$U$ does NOT want you to call the police first, because they want to be in total control of the process…

Anonymous said...

There is simply no way that animal abuse is important enough to enforce against by using "special powers" that are denied even to local law enforcement. They are treating animal owners badly in ways that they aren't allowed to treat terrorists.

Anonymous said...

You can look at what the animal rights activists did to Massachusetts this election day. Greyhound racing was already tightly regulated, and the process of creating the regulatory system gave the animal rights activists the pull to be able to eliminate greyhound racing entirely. We don't get anything from cooperating with those bullies and terrorists. We just get slowly strangled and then killed.

Anonymous said...

One of the things I left out was the fact that in order to get the Massachusetts ban passed, they had to knowingly lie to people to get votes.

roseleb67 said...

Im a volunteer for the schenectady spca and find your comments disturbing. This orginizations only goal is to help animals and see that there is justice to those that neglect/abuse them. Arrests are minimal. one of our goals is to educate owners on proper care, etc. NObody joined the peace officer segment of the spca simply to get their kicks out of carrying a gun. i suppose you say that about all police officers too?? The fact that we ARE volunteers shows were doing ot for a worthwhile reason, not a paycheck. AND perhaps you are not aware how dangerous people are, for example, who fight pit bulls, who are viscous enough to inflict pain on an animal, ie pyschopaths, what makes you think a bullet is goin to differentiate between a peace officer or a police officer?? it wont! they wont! we need to be able to protect ourselves! Animal neglect is very real and this community lacked the resources , up to know. believe me, the police dont have time/resources to be bothered with these calls. that is where we step in. and we are utliziing other shelters until we have the $ and resources to develop one. to tell people their $ is being wasted on us, is just plain wrong. be ashamed!

Anonymous said...

I see this is an old Comment but had to respond. I am one of those peace officers, thanks. and no, I am not gung ho about having a gun. nobody else is either. we all have FT fullfiling day jobs. we VOLUNTEER becuase we happen to give a crap about animals. We free up the police from calls on animal cruelty,and neglect. Believe me, they are overworked as it is. we are not stepping on their toes. IF it involves other criminal activity, then yes, we will work side by side with them. we cant open a shelter with no money! there ar enumerous aspects of the scscpa besides the law enforcement one, check the website out before making such ignorant judgements. If i didnt know any better, and maybe i dont ,you may have a pit bull ring in your backyard!

Anonymous said...

I know Mr. Tully from old days and I must say whoever bad mouths him abviously don't know him well. He served his country as a military officer and community as a law enforcement officer for many years. He is well qualified and knowledgeable to run an agency like SPCA and his intention is only to save animals from neglect and abuse.

BlueDogState said...

To all the anonymous posters -- the volunteer peace officers with guns, arrest powers and zero public accountability -- that would be the ones who get their rocks off by accusing me of involvement in dogfighting (how pathetic can you get? I'm just so thrilled you guys are out there with guns, mace, body armor and no supervision). . .

You all may see yourselves as Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson types but we're talking real world Schnectady County, not Hollywood. Grow up.

Public employees, with public accountability, should be enforcing the law. Not vigilantes.

Anonymous said...

read this story than talk crap about the spca

Anonymous said...

Sorry to comment on such an old thread.

Earlier this year, Schenectady SPCA changed its name to "SPCA of Schenectady, Schoharie, and Saratoga" Three weeks ago, they changed it back.

Of course, the media made no comment about this retreat, which was apparently caused by an embarrassing mess up in Schoharie county on the part of Tully's private army. Of course, the farmer's life that was ruined by Tully's relentless obsession with seeing his name in the paper is merely collateral damage. I'd love to see someone investigate this retreat.

More recently, Tully's Raiders had a major victory. They browbeat Schenectady County into making them animal control officers. Guess who gets to keep the proceeds from fines for unlicensed dogs? Yup. SPCA keeps half the money to use at their discretion. And the other half? Why, its to be used to finance the maintenance of SPCA's vehicles! So much for "not accepting any public funding", as they brag on their website.
During the witch-hunts in the middle ages, "witch-finders" got to keep a portion of the confiscated property of the innocent people they got burned at the stake. Schenectady county SPCA has gone one better. Now they get to keep it all.