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REPORT: New York State Park Police served as “security detail” by overseeing Cayuga Nation “property take-back” in Seneca Falls last February

It was 12:30 a.m. when New York State Park Police officer Jason Steki clocked in and reported for duty during a dark winter night in Seneca Falls on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020.

The officer responded to assist another agency at the Lakeside Trading store stationed along State Route 89 — just across the street from his post at Cayuga Lake State Park.

“I assisted the Seneca Falls Police Department on a security detail overseeing the Cayuga Indian Nation’s property take-back at Lake Side Trading,” Steki revealed in an incident report.

A detail briefing began at 1 a.m., which he personally attended alongside officers from the New York State Police and Seneca County Sheriff’s Department as well as representatives from the county’s district attorney office and North Seneca Ambulance. 

Steki was assigned to serve on a response team staged at the south entrance of the New York Chiropractic College located at 2360 State Route 89.

“The Cayuga Indian Nation Police conducted their takeover with no calls for service for any outside agency or response teams,” Steki later wrote.

His direct assistance for the dubbed “disturbance” was needed for three and a half hours until 4 a.m. filed a Freedom of Information Law request from Feb. 11, 2021, which led to eight incident reports being released that were filed by New York State Park Police officers from 2007 to 2020 — each in response to Cayuga Nation-owned properties.

All eight reports were filed in Seneca County, none in Cayuga County either.

The Cayuga Lakeside Trading Store located on the corner of Garden Street Extension and State Route 89, is now permanently closed, after the Nation police’s “takeover” on February 22, 2020.

Like the situation Steki responded to during late-February, an overwhelming majority of incident reports were filed at Lakeside Trading store locations in Seneca Falls — six to be exact.

The interactions between the state’s Park Police and Nation are well-recorded. Incidents vary from vehicle complaints to aid and even harassment calls over a span of 13-years, some of which overlapped with the Cayuga Nation Police Department

A similar FOIL request had been filed with the New York State Police, which was supposed to be fulfilled by Friday, April 16.

However, the agency failed to disclose the requested records before that deadline. A week has already passed and still hasn’t received any of the aforementioned records from the state police department.