Fishkill supervisor defends decsion to delay contacting police about gun flashing incident at Town Hall

Fishkill police said 89-year-old John Jackson took a gun out of his pocket and showed it to the employee on the other side of the counter.

Ben Nandy

Mar 29, 2024, 10:35 PM

Updated 18 days ago

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Fishkill Town Supervisor Ozzy Albra is defending his decision to delay contacting town police after learning a man showed his gun to a town employee while paying a water bill at Fishkill Town Hall.
"I wanted to make sure there was a criminal act before I called police," Albra, a former police officer, told News 12 when reached by phone Friday.
The incident happened at about 10 a.m., March 20.
Fishkill police said 89-year-old John Jackson took a gun out of his pocket and showed it to the employee on the other side of the counter.
Albra, who was off-site at the time, said his staff notified him of the incident around midday.
He returned to Town Hall just after the close of business to speak with the employee who was across the counter from Jackson, and finally contacted police just before 7 p.m.
Albra does not typically request police assistance when dealing with loitering or minor disputes.
"I handle it usually myself," he said. "I rarely call the cops."
He said the March 20 incident also did not require police involvement on the spot.
"I ascertained that there was no current threat," Albra said of his decision not to contact police upon learning of the incident involving a gun. "If there was an ongoing threat, I would have shot back here and called the cops immediately. I was correct. When I got back, the guy never showed back up."
Fishkill police advise residents not to hold off on contacting them anytime they feel officers might be needed, even if the event turns out not to require police involvement.
"I would think anytime a firearm involved in any situation that makes someone feel uncomfortable the police should be called," Fishkill Police Department Lt. Paul Schettino said. "The consequences can be very bad. A lot of things can happen. After this individual left Town Hall, he could have went anywhere."
Police interviewed Jackson later that evening, and arrested him the next day, charging him with misdemeanor menacing.
A judge ordered Jackson to stay away from the employee who was across the counter, and ordered Jackson's firearms confiscated.
Albra said he is now planning to install panic alarms in Town Hall, create a town safety committee, add clear signage that guns are prohibited in the building, provide emergency training for employees, and increase police presence.


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