Saratoga Police preparing for drug enforcement challenges ahead of SPAC summer concerts

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In just a few days, Dave Matthews Band concertgoers will flood out of the gates at SPAC and into the City of Saratoga Springs.

After the multiple arrests made after the recent Phish concert series, Police say they are concerned about what exactly people will bring from through the gates and into the Saratoga Friday and Saturday night.

Police say they had a busy couple of days, with 26 arrests and one death being tied to the Phish concerts.

Saratoga Police say most of the incidents they responded to following the concerts could be connected to drugs.

According to police, marijuana, concentrated cannabis, cocaine, heroin, suboxone, hash oil, Ecstasy, MDMA, LSD, bath salts, nitrous oxide (in tanks and balloons), Xanax, rohypnol, and several other types of prescription medications were all recovered at the concerts.

“A lot of those materials came in with the concert goers,” says Detective Lt. Bob Jillson.

Jillson says this past Phish concert was one of the busiest yet.

38-year-old Kellie Goff was found dead in her room at the Courtyard Marriot on July 4. Police say her death could be related to substances.

With Dave Matthews Band as the new long residency to take the SPAC stage Friday, police are prepping to battle even more drugs spilling into the city.

“I mean, they’re here for three days, and they’ll have 20,000 people somewhere,” says Jillson. ‘They’re staying someplace.”

Some in the city are concerned for their safety, but police say they’re ready.

Much of this preparation depends on communication and shared tips between police departments.

For example, Saratoga Police might reach out to the department in the area where Dave Matthews Band just played and ask officers there what they saw and experienced while the band was in town.

Mayor Joanne Yepsen says the city is also working on a new emergency plan.

“I know the Public Safety Commissioner is bringing that to the Council table. We have all studied it, and I looked at it,” said Mayor Jepsen. “So we’ll be ready in the event of anything catastrophic happening.”

In the meantime, police urge everyone to exercise caution as the city expects large crowds.

The Dave Matthews Band residency begins at SPAC on Friday.

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