ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Albany's Police Chief says there must be more officers on the streets, and he plans to make it happen. He also hopes to use technology to make his department run more efficiently and to aid prosecutors in their cases against criminals.
Tuesday, Albany city commissioners began the months long process of going department by department and listening to the budget needs of each. The police department is expected to put more than a million dollars in equipment, but the Chief says it will be money well spent, better protecting the citizens of Albany.
Chief John Proctor has outlined a clear problem with the organization of the Albany Police Department since the day he arrived there. He said, "I felt we had too many supervisors, particularly in the Lieutenants rank and the sergeants ranks."
And that's why he'll reduce those positions and add more entry level uniform officers. Proctor said, "I think we need those folks to be out of the road, doing the line level function that we need."
Responding to calls as soon as possible, rather than sitting behind a desk. "My intent is to put folks out on the road to answer calls for service where we most need them."
He also plans to implement new technology to help the department run more efficiently, placing computers in cars so officers can input reports faster and perform criminal background checks. Plus, he wants to install cameras that will record the actions of officers and the people they come into contact with.
He said, "It both records the officers contact with citizens and it records the officers actions as they exit their car, when there is any kind of pursuit mode or what have you."
Video that can be used in court or for reviews of officer performance. All changes he hopes will make his department run smoother and the city safer.
New equipment for the department will cost roughly $1.5 Million dollars. Chief Proctor says by reducing the number of Lieutenants and Sergeants, he'll save money and may even be able to hire additional officers without any additional money.
The overall proposed budget for the police department is nearly 16 million dollars.