New APD Chief lays out plans for crime prevention - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New APD Chief lays out plans for crime prevention

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Mabel Berry's murder happened just one day before the new Albany Police Chief reported for work.

Friday Chief John Proctor talked with city employees and the media about what he plans to do to cut crimes like that in Albany. Chief John Proctor has had a busy first week, he's been on the phone to chiefs in Moultrie and Tifton wanting to open lines of communication and work with them to prevent crime in southwest Georgia, Friday he told us a little more about some of the ideas he's brought north to Albany to do that.

City Manager Al Lott told city employees he's willing to put his job on the line in support of his choice for police chief and laid out what he wants Chief John Proctor to do with Albany's crime problems.

"I want him to make the Albany Police Department more efficient and affective and more responsive to the people," said Lott.

It's Chief John Proctor who's got bigger plans.

"We should be held to a higher standard and we're going to do that," said Albany Chief John Proctor.

When asked about burglaries, Proctor explained he wants to start preventing the crimes with some new deployment strategies.

"Re-deploying our folks, making sure we look at crime statistics, look at places that are hot spots and having options be centered there, working on those areas very targeted and making sure all of our folks concentrate on that," said Proctor.

To reduce armed robberies, he wants to investigate requiring fast food restaurants to have surveillance cameras.

"I do have some support for that, I don't know enough about it right now, I do know that you have to have some ordinance change to deal with that, that's something we want to look at," said Proctor.

Proctor also admits there is a gang problem in Albany and he wants to work on it.

"To deal with a gang problem you have to stay focused on it and to some degree that is what has happened here is, there's not been enough attention dealt with it," said Proctor.

While he was Deputy Chief in Tallahassee a drug sting went bad and led to a woman's death. He won't say much about that because of ongoing litigation, but he did say today he was saddened by the incident. City leaders say they were informed about that from the beginning.

"We have policies and procedures in place. At the level that I'm at you ensure that and you ask questions did you do these things and you want to feel confident that folks took those precautions. I can tell you that we asked those questions, there were mistakes made and let's hope we limit mistakes," said Proctor.

"I have faith in the association who investigated this matter thoroughly, knowing all the things appropriate to investigations and operations of that sort, but told me he was the best fit for Albany," said Al Lott.

The chief said it will take him some time, but he'll continue to meet and talk with various city officials like the District Attorney, who he met with this week and talked about what can be done to make better cases.

Another top priority for the Chief will be encouraging the community to help fight crime by calling his officers when they see trouble in their neighborhoods.

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