Albany County sheriff unveils new threat coordination team

ALBANY – They are unimaginable and unforgettable acts of evil that have shaken individual communities and the entire nation to it’s core. Uvalde, Texas; Buffalo, New York; Newtown, Connecticut. The list goes on.

“What we want to do is keep our community safe,” says Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, “We want to off ramp violence before it occurs.”

Toward that end, Apple unveiled the Albany County Threat Assessment Coordination Team (AC-TACT) on Thursday. It’s a collaboration of community stakeholders who possess a wide range of expertise in identifying, assessing, and managing the risks of planned, targeted violence.

“Every act of targeted violence begins with a grievance such as a loss, an injustice, or what ever the case may be,” he said. “A sense of revenge which bears an ideation, which is an act to address that grievance.”

In other words, after people see something and then say something, now there are more people in place to do something about it.

“It’s about preventing,” stated Andrew Joyce, Chairman of the Albany County Legislature. “It’s about being offensive, it’s about reaching these individuals before something terrible can happen, and it’s about prevention, not reaction.”

Much of the prevention is likely to begin in area school classrooms.

“We know that things that happen in the community impact our students,” said Dr. Kaweeda Adams, the Albany Schools superintendent. “It impacts them in ways that we may not recognize on the surface.”

“We’re trying to help people without infringing on their rights,” said Dr. Stephen Giordano, Albany County’s Mental Health Commissioner. “We’re not interested in going after people, we’re interested in helping communities look at folks who have come to the attention of someone, and they don’t know what to do with what they’ve seen.”

“Ultimately, we’ll all be working together to keep our communities safe,” Apple pointed out. “I think that’s what we’re supposed to do as government officials.”