Police opening Jay Street station

Storefront office to be ready when Proctor's reopens next month

MIKE GOODWIN Staff writer
Section: Capital Region,  Page: B3

Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2005

SCHENECTADY - The Schenectady Police Department is preparing to open a storefront station on Jay Street to ease public concern about safety downtown.

Police expect to open the station near State Street in time for the December reopening of Proctor's Theatre, the focal point of a taxpayer-funded effort to convert downtown into a dining and entertainment district. "We expect to move in the very near future," spokesperson Lt. Peter Frisoni said. Three officers will be assigned to the station, he said.

Proctor's is completing the first phase of a $22.5 million expansion that will enlarge its backstage area to accommodate the nation's largest touring shows and add a large-screen 455-seat movie theater.

The Metroplex Development Authority, funded by roughly $6 million in annual sales-tax revenue, has promised or awarded grants and low-interest loans to numerous businesses and organi zations moving to or expanding in downtown.

But the authority is faced with a public perception that downtown is dangerous and hopes to counter those fears by having community police officers who already work in that section of the city based at the Jay Street station.

The station will be housed in a building Proctor's recently converted into space for local artists. The Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp. maintains the building.

Proctor's CEO Philip Morris said he welcomed the extra security. Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen said the move was based on efforts that have been tried in entertainment centers in other cities.