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Military drills draw criticism

Geneseo, N.Y. - The 108th New York State National Guard Unit is coming under criticism for a recent set of training drills that took place in several neighborhoods in the Village of Geneseo.

"They were blocking off the end of the street while the troops went by," said Susan Bailey, who lives on 2nd Street in the Village of Geneseo. "People were looking out their windows and seeing armed troops in the street."

Bailey said she and other neighbors weren't quite sure what was going on, and in some instances called around to see what was happening.

"A number of my neighbors also mentioned they were concerned," she added. "Especially the drills [training] taking place in the streets with weapons."

Geneseo Trustee Benjamin Gajewski said he received several calls from concerned residents.

"I think the concern was the weapons in a residential area," Gajewski said. "This time, for whatever reason they passed through some of our residential areas."

Gajewski said the National Guard Unit has done training in Geneseo before, but added the training would generally take place near the armory or in commercial areas.

After discussing the matter at a recent trustee meeting, Gajewski said he reached out to the National Guard to try and better communicate when they would be doing these exercises to the general public with hopes of avoiding panic, but Gajewski has yet to hear back from the National Guard.

"This is a good opportunity for us to communicate with them and make sure we're aware of their movements," he said. "So if someone calls the village office or contacts a trustee in the future we can have the info for the resident."

Gajewski added that after the trustee meeting, some residents reached out to him to say they don't mind the National Guard doing training drills in neighborhoods.

Col Richard Goldenberg, a spokesperson for the

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Washington Times