Albany Police: Shootings down in 2023

ALBANY – The number of shots fired calls and shootings are down so far this year, Albany officials reported on Wednesday.

Police Chief Eric Hawkins and Mayor Kathy Sheehan held a news conference to discuss crime.

Hawkins said that the number of shots fired calls through Aug. 31 has decreased from 151 in 2022 to 105 this year. The number of shootings is down from 52 to 34.  

“This represents lives that are being saved in our community,” he said.

Hawkins said the city is on track to see crime be below 2019 levels. He cautioned that this is not a “victory lap.”

“We understand that there’s work to be done,” he said. “Significant progress is being made to address this issue that has been a scourge in our community during the last three years.”  

In addition, police have seized nine weapons.

Hawkins said the police have achieved these milestones despite being short-staffed and facing an increased cost of services.

Sheehan said the community is also working on quality-of-life issues.

“Public safety is about walking out of your home on any block in the city of Albany and feeling that you’re safe.  Our residents have the right to take their children to any park in this city and not encounter needles, not encounter trash, not encounter encampments,” she said.  

She encouraged people to call police when they see something.

Sheehan said community agencies are working to address the needs of the homeless – many of who are coming from outside Albany County.

211 Central Ave. homicide

Hawkins said police continue to investigate a shooting that killed a 25-year-old man at 211 Central Ave. on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 3:15 a.m.

The incident happened at a party being held at an illegal establishment. Hawkins said police work with the city’s codes department to try to shut down these places.

“We can’t always know when these illegally operated spots are going to hold these events. So in the aftermath of when this happens, we make sure we hold these people accountable,” he said.

No foul play in Washington Park body

There appears to be no foul play in the case of a 57-year-old man found unresponsive on Sept. 2 at 11:30 a.m. in Washington Park, according to Hawkins.  

Arrest in 2nd Street shooting

Hawkins said there is a person in custody in the nonfatal shooting near 2nd Street and Judson Street on Sunday.  The 30-year-old man had non life-threatening injuries. Hawkins said the suspect has been arraigned and police will soon be releasing information.