Albany Police holds forum on reorganizing Neighborhood Engagement Unit

karen tararache
Created: January 14, 2020 11:27 PM

ALBANY - "There were a lot of stops along the way, first hand input as opposed to second and third hand input, all of those were missed," Dannielle Hille said.

"A lot of it was with me being new, with me not knowing exactly the expectations of the community but I tell you, I know the what the expectations are now," Chief Eric Hawkins said.  


An admission from Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins, that things should have been done differently when creating the new Neighborhood Engagement and Beat Units.

Tuesday night, Hawkins along with Lieutenant Joe McDade addressed members of the public to answer questions about how it'll all work.

"In addition to the patrol officers walking to beat for 20 minutes, the beat cops are going to be required to get in a patrol car for two hours a week and ride with a patrol officer that patrols their area," Lt. Joe McDade said???????, Neighborhood Engagement Unit.

The plan will reduce the number of beats from 18 areas to 10, increasing the geographical size.

The chief says this will alleviate staffing concerns and stress among employees.  

"It doesn't make much sense to me again, I'm hopeful but I'm having a hard time logically wrapping my head around how these numbers equal all these results," Hille said. 

Members of ACPAC or the Albany Community Police Advisory Committee will be monitoring the new plan's progress and hope to make adjustments if necessary throughout this next year.

"We're going to have full access to all the records all their data that they have, going to look at all of that and see are they really doing what they say they're doing, are the officers getting out and meeting the community," Joseph Ingemie said, ACPAC Chair.

A number of residents addressed the fact that Albany Police Officers' salaries are not competitive with surrounding areas, something the Chief says he agrees with, but the union is currently negotiating a separate internal matter that prevents them from negotiating the raises. 

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