APD Chief: Officer shortage not impacting homicide investigations

APD Chief: Officer shortage not impacting homicide investigations
Families of two murder victims told us they think the 21 homicides this year have overwhelmed the department. (Source: WALB)
Families of two murder victims told us they think the 21 homicides this year have overwhelmed the department. (Source: WALB)
APD Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB)
APD Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany's Police Chief said his department's shortage of officers is not impacting homicide investigations.

Chief Michael Persley was very upfront admitting there is an officer shortage, and it's been like this for several years. But he firmly told us it has not hurt active homicide cases.

"Out of the 20 that occurred include 21 being a cold case. To say that we've placed people in jail, and we've identified suspects in all but one. I think that's some pretty good numbers," that was Chief Persley's response to recent claims stating the department's vacancies were impacting active homicide investigations.

"We continue to hold it together with the number of homicides we've had," Persley added, along with aggravated assaults, robberies and other crimes that have occurred.

But he firmly stated, "it hasn't had any negative impact upon the cases, other than we haven't been able to catch those responsible yet."

The harsh claims were coming from two families who are demanding justice after their relatives were brutally murdered in a triple homicide in June.

The victims were Tyquis Smith, Adrionna Holmes, and Demarquis Williams.

Relatives said detectives haven't given updates on the active case.

"As times goes on it may not get daily calls or weekly calls but at least we want to touch within monthly or quarterly," Persley explained.

The Robbery Homicide Department is fully staffed with five detectives, and when there's a homicide, he said the gang unit is also sent as a backup.

"We want to get it solved as quickly as possible," Persley added.

Their last concern why a $100,000 bond was given to a Ticorey Frazier who has been charged with their murder.

"There are multiple suspects involved with that one particular homicide case, the case wouldn't be indicted per se because we don't have everyone in custody," said Persley.

He also explained everyone in the state is entitled to a bond hearing regardless of the crime.

Chief Persley also said it's impossible for the lead investigator to miss the 95-day window to turn in documents to the judge to indict Frazier because the District Attorney is involved in homicides from the start.

The chief also contacted the investigative bureau to set up timelines to ensure lead detectives are giving updates to shooting victims' families.

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