New Albany police chief speaks exclusively to WALB News 10 - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New Albany police chief speaks exclusively to WALB News 10

"Everything that I've wanted to do I'm looking at ways of trying to implement those right now,” said Chief Michael Persley, Albany Police Department.

In an exclusive interview, Albany's new police chief talks to us about how he wants to make the city safer.

Despite an increase is some crime here lately, Chief Michael Persley said Albany Police work better with the community than most departments around the country. He said that good working relationship is vital to cutting down on crime.

Violent crime on the rise in many parts of the Country and some people are attributing that to strain relations between police and their communities. New APD Chief Michael Persley said that isn't the case here in Albany.

"We haven't even had any aggravated assault issues where you can say they are police related."

Persely said he is looking for new ways to improve policing for his department.

"We can still use some of the same tactics and techniques but we just need to improve on how we're utilizing those,” continued Chief Persely.

He said the number of violent crime in Albany is up so far this year. He says one reason is a new law that expands the definition of aggravated assault.

"So now in a situation where there's a choking we can label that an aggravated assault."

But murders are up. Albany police have investigated six homicides through May. That is twice as many as this time last year.

"Majority of them have been where these are acquaintance cases, where there was a domestic or whether it was just a friend on friend."

The chief believes stricter enforcement on misdemeanors could cut down on violent crimes.

"If we have better enforcement on those cases then we can possibly prevent a homicide,” continued Persley.

Enforcement he said that can be done without heavy handed police tactics. He encourages input from the community.

"If it is a social issue and the appropriate social agency can handle it then I'm all for partnering with them and assisting them on that."

Chief Persley is looking for ways to use new technology to fight crime. He's considering using drones to patrol high crime areas. Chief Persley will officially be sworn in Wednesday.

Copyright 2015 WALB. All rights reserved.

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