Viewpoint: How much of Gary Price's driving is enough - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Viewpoint: How much of Gary Price's driving is enough

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How many more people will have to be hurt or killed in crashes with Albany Police Officer Gary Price?

Two people have been killed and 10 injured in four separate crashes that involved Officer Price.

He's been warned, disciplined, even transferred off the drug squad. The city and county shucked out a half million dollars to his victims, yet, he's still on the streets in a police vehicle and he's still hurting people.

Price was behind the wheel of an APD SUV that streaked through an intersection on South Jefferson Street Saturday. He broadsided a pickup truck with a family of six inside. Luckily no one was killed.

But Price has been involved in a deadly crash.

In June 2007, he chased drug suspect Bobby Jones up North Jefferson until Jones slammed head on into Billy Klewitz. Jones and Klewitz were both killed.

In a crash four months later, Price was disciplined for refusing to back off a chase even though his supervisor ordered him to. A pregnant woman and two children were injured when the guy he was chasing slammed into them.

How many more wrecks will he cause? It's clear Gary Price is a danger to the citizens of Albany.

"My first thought is why is he still on the road?" said Breanna Klewitz, the sister of Billy Klewitz. "Any other driver, licensed driver, four accidents involving either injury or fatality to that extent would either go through some kind of litigation or have his license taken away too. Why is this guy still allowed to drive a car? Let alone be a law enforcement officer on the road. Why doesn't he have a desk job, something like that?"

The actions of this officer reflect not only on him, but on city leaders. Are they really willing to accept the liability that Price represents?

Can the city afford to continue paying for his bad judgment in the form of lawsuit settlements?

We call on the Police Chief and the City Manager to get this man out of a police car and off the streets.

Additionally, we urge the chief to carefully review police policy to ensure that all officers wisely handle the responsibility of safely patrolling the streets of Albany.

It is our hope that in the future, the police chief will recognize this type of dangerous pattern in an officer and address it before it goes this far.