Albany Police Citizen's Committee works for improvement -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Police Citizen's Committee works for improvement

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April 24, 2008

Albany -- The Albany Police Department has started a Citizen's Advisory Committee to get your input on how to improve the department. The 15-members range from college professors to business owners to retirees.

People we talked to  told us Albany Police need to listen to average citizens more.

 People in Albany see crime scenes on the news and in their neighborhoods, and many told us they worry about crime.  Melvious Peters said "honestly yes, there is a lot of crime in Albany. A lot of it is not reported, but a lot of crime in Albany."

Members of the Citizen's Advisory Committee say that the public must work with the Police to stop crime. Dr. Charles Ochie said "police do not prevent crime. It's the citizens who prevent crime, because the citizens are the ones who report."

Ochie, the head of the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Department at Albany State University, said in the year he has been on the Citizen's Advisory Committee he has found the Albany Police need to be more professional on the job. Ochie said "it's very important that they show respect, professionalism, integrity, ethical issues. Those are things we are looking for from our Police Department."

But people tell us they don't see it in all APD Officers. Louie said "they're not following the example they are supposed to be setting."

Ochie said Police Officers often have trouble dealing with the community. Ochie said, "They don't trust the public. They don't trust the people. They need to know that they can't do their job unless people are able to call."

 Everyone we talked with on the streets today said the Citizen's Advisory committee is needed.  Elijah Richardson said "the Police need to come out in the neighborhood more and deal with the citizens. That's a good thing that they got going there."

Chief James Younger started the Citizen's Advisory Committee to get this kind of feedback from the community, and improve the Albany Police.