COLONIE, NY – On Friday, February 11th, the Colonie Police Department was notified by the Sand Creek Middle School Administration that a suspicious device was located by a faculty member in a co-ed employee bathroom. This device was turned over to the Police Department, and after an investigation, it was determined that the device was a functioning covert camera, which was disguised as a cell phone charger. The camera contained videos and images of multiple faculty members, both male and female, in various stages of undress.
At this time, there is no evidence that any videos were taken of students.
Based on the camera footage, combined with other evidence collected by the Police Department, the individual responsible for placing the camera has been identified as Patrick Morgan. Mr. Morgan has been a teacher for the South Colonie School District for 28 years, and currently teaches 5th grade.
Mr. Morgan was located this morning by members of the Colonie Police Department, and was taken into custody. He was charged with the below crimes.
Multiple faculty members have been identified as victims of this unlawful surveillance. Out of an abundance of caution, and to allow the School District to properly address this issue with their faculty members, the School District made the decision to cancel classes at Sand Creek today. Counselors and victim advocates from the South Colonie School District, the Albany County District Attorney’s Office, and the Albany County Crime Victim Center have been offered to employees.
This investigation is still on-going. Search warrants are currently being executed at Mr. Morgan’s residence in Frankfort, NY. Efforts will be made to identify additional victims, to determine if these videos have been distributed anywhere, and to determine if covert cameras were placed in any other locations. The school has been checked thoroughly, and we do not believe any other cameras are currently being used on school property.
We encourage everyone to remain vigilant, especially when utilizing public restrooms or dressing rooms. Inexpensive cameras like the one used here are readily available at many online retailers, and are covert enough to blend in and not be noticed. If you see an item in a restroom or dressing room that does not seem right, or seems out of place, report the item to the building management or the police department, so it can be examined and deemed innocuous.
This is still an active and ongoing investigation. If you know something that might be relevant to this investigation, please contact the Colonie Police Investigations Division at 518-783-2754.