Posted at: 09/18/2013 12:01 AM
By: Dan Levy
TROY - After a recent surge in street violence, Troy Police are putting on a full court press determined to find the people responsible for the gunfire that's been raising fear across the city.
Three shootings in less than three weeks in one Troy neighborhood has resulted in bullet holes to a Fifth Avenue apartment; it led to beefed up police presence on the street; and it led to a heavily attended neighborhood watch meeting on Tuesday night.
"I know it's upsetting, but they're (the shooters) are out to get each other, they're not out to get us," Tina Urzan, of the South Lansingburgh Neighborhood Watch Association, told her group Tuesday night at the Lansingburgh Boys & Girls Club.
The problem with that belief is that sometimes innocent people get caught in the crossfire. On Monday night, when bullets flew through a second floor apartment on Fifth Avenue, they flew just over the heads of two young boys, ages 6 and seven.
"Their fears are genuine," acknowledged City Councilman Kevin McGrath. "The police are actively pursing every resource available."
Council President Lynn Kopka says she too has lots of confidence in the Troy Police Department.
"They know what they're doing," She says. "They're out there under cover. They're talking to people that they need to talk to and I really think we're going to solve this one."
Until that happens resident are, naturally, still scared.
Former Mayor Harry Tutunjian, who attended Tuesday night's meeting, thinks the Shot Spotter technology, that detects gunfire, and alerts police, which is now inoperable, could have made a difference.
"If that was working today or yesterday, it would have helped deter any kind of gun violence," Tutunjian asserted, "If not, it would have helped in any investigation.
"We have not heard any requests to bring back the Shot Spotter," she says, "It was apparently of no value in an inner city area."
Meanwhile, Councilman McGrath told the neighborhood watch group that the recent shootings are retaliatory, drug-related crimes and police know the parties involved.