Troy NY Gun & Drug Unit Placed On Leave & Under Investigation

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The city police drug unit is under investigation for allegedly filing a false burglary report in an attempt to cover up entering a home without a search warrant, several city government sources said Friday.

The drug unit went to the residence on a tip from another Capital Region police agency, according to the sources who were provided information on the case but are not authorized to speak about it.

The alleged coverup resulted in a “fractious argument” among the members of drug unit, which is commanded by Sgt. Ron Epstein, the sources said.

Mayor Patrick Madden said the members of the Firearms Interdiction and Narcotics Suppression (FINS) unit were all placed on leave in a personnel matter involving certain officers’ conduct “during a particular occasion.”

“An internal investigation has been commenced to protect the integrity of the Troy Police Department and reassure the public’s continued trust and confidence in our law enforcement officials,” Madden said in a written announcement Friday.

City Council President Carmella Mantello questioned the decision to take the six officers off duty.

“I am deeply concerned that this would remove from the front line a total police department unit in our city’s fight against drugs and related matters,” she said in a press release. “I am calling upon the mayor to advise the council and the public as to how the city would fill the gap and responsibilities of this important unit.”

Mantello issued that statement after the mayor had spoken with the other council members, but not with her.

“While part of this issue is a personnel issue, according to the city, the actual circumstances of this case should be revealed,” Mantello said. “In other words, what specifically caused the removal of this unit from their duties of protecting the public?”

In an email to Mantello, Madden said her comments before they had discussed the matter left him “speechless.”

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