Albany residents voice frustration to Common Council over recent violence

July 17, 2018 09:30 AM

ALBANY - Residents came out to an Albany Common Council meeting Monday night to voice their frustrations over the recent string of violence in the city.

Since the beginning of the month, there have been 14 shootings and three murders.

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Monday night’s meeting started with a moment of silence for the victims of violence.

"Answers are not going to be found in prayer circles in parks, answers are not going to be found through memorials," said Albany resident Marlon Anderson.

Many residents said they want answers and leadership. They said more resources need to be put into neighborhoods.

"How do you expect the community to do any better when you look at the state of it, this violence is the product of the environment it springs from," added Anderson.

One resident said change could be brought by allocating money to the right places. He said leaders should stop giving more money to the police department, and start giving more money to the community through youth programs to get teenagers off the streets at night.

Also a hot topic during Monday night’s public hearing, a resolution the Common Council passed that increases the Albany Chief of Police salary by $12,000.

This comes as the city continues to search for a new chief.

But a final candidate who said he is the only candidate in consideration from Albany said the job shouldn't be about the money.

"I want to make it clear, I don't think now is the time to raise the pay when we have so many significant issues," said former Albany Police Officer Steve Reilly. "I don't think now is the time to be talking pay raises when we have an issue developing in our streets."

A current Albany Police Officer said increasing the pay of chief is not what will attract new applicants to a department that’s already down 30 officers.

"When I took the civil service test 22 years ago, I was competing with 1,000 other people," said Officer Matt Carey. "Today my fellow officers tell me that we're struggling to find qualified people that want to be officers."


Emily De Vito

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