Persley addresses Saturday Albany protest

Police chief also addresses community policing

Persley addresses Saturday Albany protest
Chief is asking the community to get to know law enforcement at city meetings. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany Police Department Chief Michael Persley said although the Saturday protest was peaceful, advocates can’t stop there.

There is a lot of changes to be made, not only in the city, but with law enforcement.

“We support peaceful protesting, demonstrators and people have their right, we just don’t want people getting out becoming violent and coming destructive because that takes away from the whole purpose of the protest,” said Persley.

Many people across the country are calling for change.

Police Chief Michael Persley is asking the community to get to know law enforcement at city meetings.
Police Chief Michael Persley is asking the community to get to know law enforcement at city meetings. (Source: WALB)

Persley said he is working to ensure his department is responsive to the community.

“Right now, I have to make sure whoever the person who comes behind me and whoever the next leaders are in the department, making sure we have stayed consistent on our message about the police and the public or the public and police,” said Persley.

Persley said the police are committed to change as time goes on. He encourages the community to establish a relationship between him and the police department.

"I want the public to know that the men and women of the Albany Police Department sworn and unsworn are guardians of the city, so anyone who wants to become a part of a force that is going to guard the city and protect it then yes, come aboard,” said Persley.

Thousands of demonstrators across the nation have joined forces, not only calling for justice for George Floyd, but for real change when it comes to racial injustice.

Persely said they are using the best practices to find a good person fit for the role of law enforcement.

“If you do this job, over a period of time just like any other job, you become jaded towards it. But, what I am more focused on is how do we make sure that the officers as they go along with their career that they don’t forget who they work for,” said Persley.

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