APD to focus on gangs, drugs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

APD to focus on gangs, drugs

June 20, 2006

Albany -- The Albany Police Department is filling empty spots on the drug unit and working on plans for a gang task force.  

When Chief James Younger was hired in February, APD started an aggressive recruiting campaign. New police officers are about to hit the streets of Albany, and more are headed to the police academy. The new officers will fill some of the APD's 40 vacancies.  

Officers were working overtime just to cover beats, and city leaders feared that was putting the community at risk. Now, 16 potential officers are in the police academy and two others are about to finish training and take over a beat.

Younger says at least two of these new officers will join the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit to fill vacancies there.  "There has been an agreement that the City would provide twelve officers to the drug units," Younger said. "Because of staffing we have not completely been able to fulfill our obligation." 

Younger says APD also plans to organize a gang task force, to combat the city's growing gang and drug problem.

And starting next month, citizens will be able to call the Crime Stoppers hotline to give anonymous tips to help solve crimes. If that information leads to an arrest, the tipster will get a reward. 

When the hotline opens in July, the number will be 229-436-8477.

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