June 13, 2022 at 7:00 a.m.
BALLSTON SPA. N.Y. — Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen presented Sergeant Angela McGovern of the Saratoga Springs Police Department the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office 2021 Public Service Award for her outstanding efforts regarding the Chalmers Davis case from August 2021.
Heggen also presented a Public Service Award to the Saratoga Springs Investigation Unit, represented by Investigator Justin Ahigian regarding their collaborative work to apprehend Davis.
In the evening hours of Aug. 10, 2021, Davis, 44, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., sliced the arm of one man while nearly slashing open another man’s throat-all over an alleged verbal dispute. Davis then fled the scene and left his victim to nearly bleed to death on Caroline Street. The victim was initially assisted by bystanders until McGovern arrived and applied a life-saving tourniquet to save the victim’s life.
McGovern was the first member of law enforcement to respond to the brutal, downtown stabbing. Upon arrival, McGovern immediately applied a tourniquet to the mortally-wounded victim’s arm — saving his life. While applying the tourniquet, she simultaneously martialed the responding Saratoga Springs officers to secure the crime scene, gather crucial statements from eyewitnesses, and preserve invaluable physical evidence.
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Once the Saratoga Springs Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services had rushed the victim to Albany Medical Center, McGovern called upon the Saratoga Springs Police Department’s investigations unit to assist in the apprehension of Davis. The SSPD Special Investigations Unit almost immediately identified Davis, tracked him to his home, executed search warrants for both his vehicle and apartment and ultimately took both Davis and several bloody items of evidence into police custody without issue.
“It is with sincere admiration and gratitude that I present Sergeant McGovern with this award given her heroic, life-saving efforts on the evening of August 10, 2021 here in downtown Saratoga Springs,” Heggen praised. “Sergeant McGovern is yet another example of how the officers and investigators of the Saratoga Springs Police Department keeps us all safe. Additionally, the successful resolution of this case could not have come together without the efforts of the SSPD Special Investigations Unit.
“I am pleased to also recognize that group, represented today by Investigator Justin Ahigian with a 2021 Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office Public Service Award.”
“Without the coordinated, professional response from such an experienced team of officers and investigators, I strongly believe both valuable evidence and the victim’s life would have been lost that night.” Heggen continued. “While Sergeant McGovern and others were able to both secure a chaotic scene and stop the victim from bleeding to death, the Department’s robust roster of experienced investigators were able to quickly track down the Defendant, take him into custody, and gather key physical evidence from his home.
“Once again, the seamless coordination between the officers on the streets together with the sizeable and experienced investigations unit was able to bring about swift apprehension, the preservation of key evidence, and most importantly the safety of our citizens. Although I am singling Sergeant McGovern out for her dedication and commitment to the support of crime victims, I want to emphasize that this is very much a team effort.”
Despite his considerable and violent criminal history, Davis refused all plea offers and claimed he was acting in self-defense. All the evidence, as gathered and organized by the Saratoga Springs Police Department, refuted such a claim and Davis was ultimately convicted after trial of Assault in the First Degree, Attempted Assault in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree.
At Davis’ recent sentencing hearing, Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy III noted “… the efforts that Sergeant McGovern, the police department, and other law enforcement officials had to endure not only by the conduct of the Defendant, but also by the melee that Sergeant McGovern experienced in trying to keep a secure crime scene and trying to save the life of one of the victims … the calm leadership that she exhibited while of this was going on is certainly meritorious and should be noted …”
“[She] saved you from a murder charge,” Murphy concluded before he ultimately sentenced Davis to 40 years in state prison.
“Although this award very well could have been presented the morning after this bloody attack occurred, we wanted to wait until the Davis case had resolved by either plea or conviction before rightfully presenting Sergeant McGovern and the SSPD Special Investigations Unit with this honor,” Heggen said. “Now that Davis has been convicted of all violent felony charges and received a lengthy State Prison sentence, it’s finally time to start recognizing the outstanding work that went into this case.
“All of us owe Sergeant McGovern and the SSPD Special Investigations Unit our gratitude. Because of them, the citizens of Saratoga Springs remain safe from people like Chalmers Davis