City promises gang force cooperation -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City promises gang force cooperation

October 2, 2007

Albany --  City manager Al Lott says the city looks forward to working on a gang task force with other law enforcement agencies in the county.

He's responding to a letter from the District Attorney claiming a task force was already in place when the city announced it was forming one last week.
It wasn't until Albany City Manager Alfred Lott got the five page letter from the District Attorney's office that he found out an organized crime unit even existed.  

Now he says, he's glad Albany Police are participating. "I'm delighted to know that an organized crime unit is in existence and it's being lead by the District Attorney's Office which I think this sort of thing ought to be," Lott said.

In the letter, District Attorney Ken Hodges informed both Mayor Willie Adams and Lott  that the organized crime unit which is made up of nine Dougherty County based policing agencies including the Albany Police force has had success in the last seven months.

"There has been search warrants that have been issued.  Over 15 houses have been hit, there were indictments that were returned and in the most recent trial term, at least nine of those defendants entered guilty pleas, and were sentenced to prison," Hodges said.  

Hodges wants the city to share their information with the unit, instead of going it alone. "The Albany Police department has decided to go out and purchase their own database which will not be accessible by other agencies, and will only be accessible by calling the Albany Police Department and asking them to research that data that's in there."

Lott said APD will share the data. "APD isn't presently equipped to take this gang problem on by itself.  We just aren't equipped to do so. I'd need another 20 officers and another five million dollars."

Lott says he'll make sure the District Attorney's office has access to any new databases Albany Police set up, but he says the city police need to do what they can within their department to confront this gang issue head on.

The City Manager said he and the mayor will attend the next task force meeting.