ViewPoint: What is SWAT status?

July 16, 2007

Albany's Police Chief James Younger refused to answer our questions last Friday about the mass resignations of the SWAT team. He said the resignations were "unfortunate".

No, wrecking a police squad car is unfortunate; it rained out our picnic is unfortunate. A major threat to public safety like this, is a catastrophe. 

The Chief's refusal to answer any questions about it, completely unacceptable. When you see this type behavior from an elected or appointed official, he generally has something to hide or they feel they just don't owe you an explanation.

Arrogance has been a term that has followed the police chief.

Due to the chief's inappropriate behavior, by now we should have heard from the City Manager or the Mayor, to reassure the public that serious steps are being taken to handle this crisis.

At Tuesday's City Commission meeting, we call on commissioners to require answers to  these questions:

  • What did the police chief have to do with these resignations? Exactly what steps are being taken to address this?
  • What is the plan if we have say 20 hostages taken at a local bank, or even worse at a local school?
  • How long will it take to rebuild our SWAT team?

The people must be reassured we are safe tonight, that their families are safe. Our leaders should have the skill set required to effectively communicate with the public.