Albany Police almost fully staffed - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany Police almost fully staffed

August 9, 2007

Albany -- Twenty-four year old Rodney Wells is one of the newest additions to Albany's Finest.

"When I am patrolling depending on where I am at I look for people running  stop signs, red lights, and expired tags," said Wells. "Those are the easiest pretty much to find, but those are the main things I typically look for.

He is one more officer on the street, one more added to a squad that desperately needed more people. "It's a step in the right direction. Citizens will see more visibility and our response time will be reduced," said Albany Police Chief, James Younger.

The training it took to prepare him and the other new recruits for this new role was extensive. "You go through a chief meeting, a psychological exam; just a series of tests just to make sure you are fit for the job before they hire you on," said new recruit Brandi Chester.

And once you are signed on it continues. "Our officers go through a pre-academy program for six weeks. The academy itself is ten weeks.  And after the academy they ride along with a seasoned officer," said Younger.

Regardless of all this training, the recruits agree that the best teacher is the streets. "They can only train you for so long. Lot of the stuff you encounter is through hands on training," said Chester.

In the end Rodney only hopes that his presence makes a difference. "What I really want is for crime rate to go down for the city and not just my beat. But I now its going to take a lot of police officers to do it," said Wells.

Hopefully with the new additions, the Albany Police Department can make it happen.

Although Albany Police is fully staffed, it will be a while before the community will see their presence.  All of the new hires won't be fully patrolling on their own until after January first.

feedback: news@walb.com?subject=NewOfficers/DR

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