Albany violent crimes fall - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany violent crimes fall

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July 28, 2005

Albany- In the late 80's, Albany was known as the murder capital of the nation. That's why much focus has been placed on fighting violent crimes including homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. While murder is up, so far this year violent crimes are down by nearly 20 percent.

Community Orientated Policing. It's getting officers out of their cars and on the streets and it's a key factor in lowering Albany's violent crimes.

"That will make the citizen feel more comfortable and want to contact us and give information," said Lt. Hosea Miller, APD Forensic Division.

The stats show it's working, aggravated assaults fell by 12 percent and police say solvability is rising.

"A lot of that comes from the citizen involvement, and we do want to encourage the citizens to get more involved," said Miller.

While homicides are up by two, police say the chances of solving those crimes is greater. "We got a lot of good leads on some of the homicides, it's just not enough right now to actually go ahead to actually solve the homicides," replied Miller.

Earlier this month, officers arrested a group near Gillespie and Avalon credited with many crimes. Putting these offenders behind bars could cause violent crime numbers to fall further. But it's also how police are pursuing these criminals.

"Before we would react to a situation, now we're doing progressive patrol, so the officers can actually recognize situations before a lot of times they occur," said Miller.

Better teamwork, the promise and opening of the new station, and a pay increase have lead to... "You can say a new attitude, I'm safe to say that, yeah a new attitude," said Miller.

A new leader focused on lowering crime numbers could also be making a difference. "He knows what each officer is doing, if they're not doing anything then he's going to bring it to their attention but and at the same time he knows how to make the officer feel that they're wanted," said Miller.

Interim Chief Bob Boren and the city police are also focusing on troublesome spots, like East Albany, South West Albany, and gang related areas with more progressive patrolling. They anticipate those efforts to make a big difference as the year and years continue.

Crime Analysis

For the first half of 2005 the city reported 5 homicides, compared to 3 in 2004. For the first half of 2005 the city reported 16 rapes, down 8 from 24 rapes in 2004. For the first half of 2005, the city reported 99 robberies, down 31 from 130 in 2004. Fore the first half of 2005, the city reported 117 aggravated assaults, down 16 from 133 in 2004.

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