Albany police chief on homicides: ‘We’ve got to break the cycle’
Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins spoke Monday afternoon about a series of recent homicides in the city.
The most recent homicides were early Sunday morning. Another person was killed last Thursday. Hawkins said no arrests have been made and his department is conducting interviews as part of the investigations.
Hawkins explained that Albany has now had 10 homicides. However, he said six were domestic and two were specific targets.
“We shouldn’t have 10 people die in our community as a result of violence, but I think context is important,” Hawkins said. “Eighty percent of our homicides are something that we can help, and we can work with our community to reduce.”
He also said Albany is not alone in this increase of violence.
“The increase in violence is consistent throughout the major cities in the Capital Region, so we’re not an outlier at all, in that sense,” he explained.
Albany Police regularly meets with departments in other cities and agencies to discuss the violence, he said.
Two victims’ advocates have also been hired in the city.
“These victims advocates can kind of help some of these individuals see a different path to healing from some of these things,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins said more work needs to be done by getting people help before violence becomes an issue and getting illegal guns off the streets.
“Over the last week and a half, we’ve taken eight illegally possessed weapons off the streets of Albany – including two that had been modified to operate as fully automatic weapons.”
Hawkins also said several arrests have been made.
However, he was adamant on one major point.
“We’re seeing this vicious cycle of violence, trauma, retribution, and it’s got to be broken,” said Hawkins. “We can arrest all these people that we want. We can take all these guns off the street, but until we break this cycle, we’re going to continuously be here.”