UAlbany partners with Albany Police to combat violence

Violence is something Albany Police say they’ve been trying to get a hold on for quite some time. They took a different route to better understand the community they serve, with the help of students.

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“We’re coming at it from an academic mindset. We’re looking at it from a different perspective than the police. Maybe we find something that they didn’t find, and we can recommend to them, and they can see what to do with it,” senior Nathan Bakery said.

One of UAlbany’s criminal justice classes released preliminary results from research on how Albany Police can better serve their residents.

The research tackles social, and quality of life issues, as well as how to enhance public safety. They are issues students say are the most important.

“We’ve been talking a lot about how this is a community-based problem. So bringing in different types of people from all across the community – whether it be the government, the police, students – I think it’s just a holistic approach,” senior Michael Clarizio added.

One group focused on community, and their research shows more community outreach from officers can help build more trust between residents and police.

“I believe that will certainly put the community at ease,” said Sammuel Juste, a UAlbany senior.

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins believes the collaboration with the students is valuable to the department.

“It also gives me an opportunity to get some perspective that I don’t necessarily get, so that I can put these things into practice,” Hawkins said.

The class is taught by Frank Wiley, the former UAlbany police chief. This collaboration will create a critical connection with police and the community, he said.

“It’s extremely important that we work with the community to try our best to be the best neighbors that we possibly can, and to contribute to a high quality of life,” he said.

Albany Police and the students at UAlbany say the research will continue throughout the semester.