ALBANY, N.Y. - The controversy surrounding a police training excercise at an Albany apartment complex last month has sparked a call for national change.
A resident of the Ida Yarborough neighborhood has started an online petition on Change.org asking for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to ban police from using public housing in their tactical training drills.
The resident says the March 21st training drill - which included firing blanks, using real tear gas, releasing flash grenades, and
preventing residents from leaving their homes - traumatized her 4-year-old daughter after watching the drill. She says her daughter was home with a babysitter and witnessed the training, believing real
bombs and gunfire were going off outside her home.
Albany's Chief of Police said he directed the department to conduct
up-to-date training exercises in as realistic a setting as possible. The training took place in a vacant part of the complex.
After the community outrage, Chief Krokoff apologized
saying, "In retrospect, it was insensitive to conduct this type of
training in the vicinity of occupied residences. We will review how we
conduct our neighborhood-based training in the future and include the
community in evaluating its appropriateness."