Concern Over State Police-APD Initiative

State Police are coming to Albany this week, but not everyone's happy about it.  

Starting Thursday, some state troopers will be paired up with members of the Albany Police Patrol Division as part of a crime prevention initiative unveiled by Gov. Cuomo during an appearance in Albany in early May.

"The State Police that will be added to this detail are going to be in full view," Gov. Cuomo said during an appearance at the Albany Public Library in early May. "I want people to know there are police, and we do take their protection seriously."

However, the Center for Law and Justice is saying many people are concerned for a number of reasons. For one thing, Executive Director Alice Green says no one has reached out to the community to talk about this, and it's not likely to address the governor's "twin scourges," gang violence and the heroin epidemic.

"We realize that drugs are certainly a problem in cities," Green said, "but they're also a problem in rural communities, and so, we're really troubled that no one has explained it to the community, why they're there, and why they're needed."

Green is also concerned about the possibility that the trust that's been built up over the years between communities of color and the APD may be eroded.

"Anytime someone makes a major effort to change that without talking to the community, people feel a sense of mistrust and concern."

Green also said no one's cited any statistics that show an increase in gang violence in the city.  In fact, Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Robert Sears recently said the majority of the gun violence "uptick" the city has seen has been the result of individuals "having a beef" with each other, rather than long-simmering disputes between larger groups.

photo:  Getty Images

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