City Commissioner explains criticism of Albany Police for Stop T -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

City Commissioner explains criticism of Albany Police for Stop The Violence

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Community leaders worry an Albany city commissioner's harsh criticism of Albany Police could lead to Ferguson, Missouri type violence.
So they asked Commissioner Tommie Postell to explain his critical statements.   
Three weeks ago, Postell startled many when he said some officers "don't give a damn about solving crime" and low morale is plaguing the police department. Tuesday, he stood by his comments.     

Albany Police Captain Benita Childs said "We work hard. We work very hard."  Albany Police Captain Benita Childs defended her co-workers at today's Stop The Violence meeting.

City Commissioner Tommie Postell explained his harsh criticism came as a wave of business burglaries and entering autos gripped the city, and he stands by what he said.

Postell said "I can't satisfy everybody when I make a statement, and I don't intend to."

Postell said that individual officers were coming to him, afraid to criticize because of fear of their jobs. He said his statement was meant about the "heads of the department."

Postell said "We all realize that we have good policemen.  I know. Everybody know it.  But there are some things that need to be corrected."

After seeing the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, Stop The Violence organizers said they were concerned that Postell's criticism could turn this community against our police.

Stop The Violence Co-Founder Bishop Frederick Williams said "My concern is that we must be very careful what images a statement we put out in the community that may bring some sort of divide. So I'm very concerned about that."

Stop The Violence organizers say for four years they've worked to improve community relations with police.  Postell said he thinks his criticism may have helped Albany's crime fighters.

Postell said "Because I see some activities going on now that probably would not have been going on if I had not said, what I said."

Several people at the meeting stood up to defend the police and their work.

 Commissioner Postell emphasized that his statements were made during a city commission meeting to commissioners, and that his real criticism was directed at department heads, not the officers on the street.  We asked Police Chief John Proctor to comment, but he declined.

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