Albany-- Sixteen officers have been charged or convicted of crimes since 2003 and several other officers are now under investigation by the GBI. City leaders say now is the time to see if changes are needed.
City leaders hope a review of the Albany Police Department will restore confidence in the department and its officers. "This is an old concept that was revived as a result of our continuing challenges regarding public perception of our police department," said Assistant City Manager Kevin Hogencamp.
Hogencamp says former City Manager Janice Allen Jackson considered the review last year after a string of officers was arrested for crimes ranging from battery to theft. Jackson even looked into the cost of hiring a private consultant to perform an investigation.
But when she left in December, the review was put on hold. The idea resurfaced last month, after the GBI started investigating whether several Albany police officers have worked part-time jobs while on duty. "It just seems appropriate particularly because of the public's perception," said Hogencamp.
Hogencamp says Interim Police Chief Bob Boren welcomes the review, which will focus on management practices and efficiencies at APD. "Ideally, they'll recommend after looking at us inside and out, the best organizational approach to running our department," said Hogencamp. "They will identify decencies and make recommendations as to who this can be the best run department."
The Mayor says people can trust APD officers, and he hopes the review will prove it. "Confidence is slipping and we slipping don't want it to go away. So it's time to take action at this point," said Albany Mayor Dr. Willie Adams.
The agency that will conduct the review has not been picked. It is expected to be another law enforcement agency or a private consultant.
No word yet on how much it will cost or how long the review will take.