Albany -- Albany's new Police Chief speaks out for the first time since taking over the force. Chief James Younger started Monday and will be sworn-in Friday.
He is a 36-year police veteran and former deputy police chief in Arlington, Virginia.
The Mayor welcomed Chief James Younger to the city at this morning's commission meeting. "I think that with the ingredients we have here, this will become a first class police department." Chief Younger said.
Chief Younger praised the overall education of APD's officers. More than 40 officers have Bachelor's Degrees and 15 have Master's. But he says good officers can accomplish only so much when the force is down 35 troops.
Younger says his first goal is to hire new officers to those vacancies at APD.
"Even though we have officers who are enthusiastic, it becomes taxing with limited personnel and resources. Once we have our personnel fully up to strength, I think that will in fact improve morale," said Younger.
To recruit more officers, APD is airing a series of Public Service Announcements about applying for the blue. And Younger says he hopes to start offering monetary incentives. "We are going to expand are recruiting efforts to where we can find potential candidates who are ethical and who have demonstrated they are problem solvers, and have demonstrated a commitment of service to the community."
Younger also says APD must recruit potential cops from around the nation to fill the ranks and improve the safety of our city.
Younger said today he will have an open door policy for his officers and the public. But he says he also expects his officers to follow the chain of command and be accountable for their performance.
Chief Younger wants to seek National Accreditation for the department. APD is currently only accredited through the state.