Albany’s recent string of homicides spark public outcry

Ending Gun Violence in Albany

Ending Gun Violence in Albany

Albany police report twenty homicides last year, and now just a few weeks into the New Year, there are five.

“The city of Albany is crying,” community advocate Eva Bass called out during public comment at the Albany Common Council meeting Thursday night.

On the agenda, was a resolution for a new Violence Prevention Coordinator Position. The position will act as a guide to the current Violence Prevention Task Force with a goal to reduce violence in the city.

Since the New Year, there have been three shootings, including the woman shot on Christmas day, one deadly officer involved shooting, and one stabbing. Plagued by death, Bass says the community is hurting. “People are not happy, people are in a state of trauma, and also the people who are helping people within the community are in a state of trauma,” she said.

To combat the violence, Common Councilmember Owusu Anane says the Violence Prevention Coordinator will be a full time position, and the person hired will be taxed with collecting data, doing research and figuring out what other municipalities are doing to keep their neighborhoods safe. “Although most of the violent acts are people that are known to each other we should not accept this as the norm in the city of Albany,” he said.

Although the resolution passed there is still some skepticism on the position’s efficacy.

Bass says she’d like to see the city of Albany do more intentional work towards strategy on addressing the trauma she’s witnessed in the community. “We need to create a space of healing so that we can really triage and address the individual needs of the community so that we can prevent the violence in the future.

$50,000 has been allocated from the previous violence activities prevention to go towards the new violence prevention coordinator position.