EnCon officer shot by alleged careless hunter


EnCon Officer James Davey

GALLATIN—A Gallatin man was jailed without bail after he allegedly accidentally shot a state Department of Environmental Conservation officer in the pelvis, November 29.

State Police from the Livingston barracks arrested Alan Blanchard, 55, of Gallatin for second degree assault, a class D felony, following the shooting that took place while Mr. Blanchard was hunting.

State Environmental Police Lieutenant Eliza Bobseine and Officer James Davey were investigating a trespassing complaint with shots fired in the area on Silvernails Road, Tuesday at about 5 p.m.

The officers came upon fresh tire tracks leading into a cut cornfield. While walking through the field, Officer Davey was shot one time with a rifle in his pelvis.

The shooter, identified as Mr. Blanchard, and his hunting partner, James Brown of Pine Plains, subsequently remained at the scene and assisted with rescue efforts, according to State Police.

An investigation determined that Mr. Blanchard’s alleged reckless conduct led to the accidental shooting of Officer Davey.

Officer Davey underwent extensive surgery at the Mid Hudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie to repair damage from the gunshot wound. He is in the Intensive Care Unit in stable condition, according to a press release from DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

I had the chance to meet Officer Davey’s wife Nancy, a forest ranger at DEC, and other family members last night who were appreciative of the outpouring of support from the DEC family,” the commissioner said.

He credited Lieutenant Bobseine, who was on patrol with Officer Davey investigating the potential illegal hunting activity, with saving Officer Davey’s life for “her quick and heroic actions in the field.”

The lieutenant quickly applied a compress to the wound while calling for support and keeping the suspects under control a half mile into a field.

It’s clear that if it were not for her actions, Officer Davey would not have survived. I commend the two officers for their courage in the line of duty and thank them for their dedicated service. Our thoughts and prayers are with the wounded officer and his family,” Commissioner Seggos said in the release.

Officer Davey, 39, is a 12-year veteran of the force, having graduated from the DEC Basic Police Academy in 2005. He is currently assigned to patrol Columbia County. He is a Division of Criminal Justice Services-Certified Police Instructor, having recently become a certified firearms instructor for the DEC.

State Police were assisted by Environmental Conservation Police. The Pine Plains Fire Department Rescue Squad and Northern Dutchess paramedics responded to scene and provided medical services and transportation to the hospital.

Mr. Blanchard was arraigned in Livingston Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail and is scheduled to reappear in court December 8.

A blood drive for DEC Officer James Davey will take place Saturday,  December 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Milan Fire Department Station 1, 1575 Jackson Corners Road, just west of the Taconic Parkway.  


One person was hurt in a two-vehicle crash at 1012 Route 82 just north of the Taconic State Parkway, November 6 at 5:45 p.m.

Columbia County 911 called State Police to investigate.

Troopers report that Michael Drew, 27, of Yonkers was driving north on State Route 82 when he saw a vehicle pull out of the Getty Gas Station and into his path. Robert Martin, 25, of Ancram told police that he did not see the Drew vehicle headed north and pulled out of the gas station to go across the road.

Northern Dutchess Paramedics took Mr. Martin to Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck for evaluation. Mr. Drew was not hurt and refused medical attention.

Mr. Martin was issued a traffic ticket for failing to yield the right of way while entering a roadway. The ticket is answerable in Taghkanic Court December 15.

Taghkanic firefighters were back in service at 6:17 p.m.


One person was taken to the Albany Medical Center and two others refused medical treatment following a two-vehicle crash on Schodack Landing Road, November 9 at 9:49 a.m.

State Police were traveling north on State Route 9 just south of the Rensselaer County line when they saw a gray Ford southbound at a high rate of speed. As troopers turned to stop the speeding vehicle, they saw it strike a second vehicle, causing extensive damage, before it fled the scene.

Troopers stopped to assist the operator of the heavily damaged vehicle, identified as Megan Herchenroder, 29, of Rensselaer.

Columbia County 911 was contacted and Niverville Fire Department and Valatie Rescue Squad responded to the scene. Mutual aid was provided by the Greenport Rescue Squad. Troopers advised dispatchers of the hit and run personal injury crash and gave them a description of the offending vehicle for broadcast.

A passing motorist stopped at the crash site and advised troopers that the offending vehicle struck a guide rail on Schodack Landing Road and was stopped there.

The operator of the offending vehicle, David Mehalich, 60, of Kinderhook was issued traffic tickets for speeding, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, failure to keep right, failure to use designated lane and following too closely. All tickets are returnable in Kinderhook Town Court, December 6.

Firefighters were back in service at 10:41 a.m.


Shane M. Banks, 24, of Schodack was charged with second degree burglary, a class C felony, and petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor, by K9 Deputy Travis VanAlstyne and Deputy Ryen Boehme November 17 at 6:10 p.m.

Ms. Banks is accused of illegally entering a private residence in Ghent and stealing a laptop computer from within.

She was arraigned in Kinderhook Town Court before Justice Lisa Mills and was sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $2,500 bail. She will appear in Ghent Town Court at a later date.

To contact Diane Valden email dvalden@columbiapaper.com

Lindmark signs off after 30+ years


Richard Lindmark is pictured at the controls as a 911 dispatcher. Photo by Lance Wheeler

GREENPORT—A police officer, a fireman and a 911 dispatcher for more than 30 years, Richard Lindmark, signed off Sunday, November 27.

Mr. Lindmark, who also takes photographs for this newspaper, has moved from his dispatching desk at Columbia County’s 911 Center in Hudson to somewhere a bit more relaxed.

An avid advocate of Columbia County firefighters for decades, Mr. Lindmark’s webpage “Columbia County Page” features hundreds of fire scenes and descriptions of area fires. It’s the “go to” resource for volunteers interested in what fire and EMS volunteers are doing.

Besides his behind-the-microphone dispatches in the Columbia 911 Center, Mr. Lindmark has been a Chatham police officer and a deputy with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. He remains an active firefighter in Canaan.

Fire companies throughout Columbia County showed their thanks to Mr. Lindmark for his years of service with a display of fire trucks and manpower at the Columbia County Public Safety Building. –Lance Wheeler

State Police conduct open house, toy drive

LIVINGSTON—State Police will be holding their 15th annual Open House and Toy Drive, Saturday, December 3 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Troopers in Columbia County and members of the community have come together to collect toys for area families in need every holiday season since 2002. This year’s event, which will include light refreshments and an appearance by Santa Claus, will be held at the Livingston barracks at 3353 Route 9.

Those attending are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for donation. Toys will continue to be accepted at the Livingston station all days through December 16.

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