ViewPoint: APD chief outstanding?

August 8, 2007

When we were told of the problems with Albany Police Chief Younger's lack of communication with other agencies over the SWAT issue, we asked for a copy of his personnel appraisal to see if this issue came up in City Manager Alfred Lott's evaluation of Chief Younger's performance.

In an evaluation done three months after Chief Younger was hired, the city manager concluded the police chief has "outstanding" communication skills.

In his explanation of the "outstanding" rating, the city manager wrote that Chief Younger "possesses exceptional public relations skills and communicates well with the media and residents."

The logical question here is, at what point did Mr. Lott ask the media how the chief communicates with us, to make that determination? I personally asked the editor of the Albany Herald, and the General Manager at FOX, and none of us has been asked this question.

If we were asked the question, the answer would be the chief communicates very poorly with us or not at all.

Another appraisal comment states: "The chief has proven to be a subject matter expert within the city, on police services issues, and understands customer service and community expectations..."

It will be interesting to see if Chief Younger's next personnel evaluation reflects the recent, much-publicized complaints about his lack of cooperation and communication with other law enforcement agencies.