Friday’s homicide is Albany’s 12th this year. Now as the search for answers to reduce violence continue, a city councilman says one solution is a new chief of police. News10 asked the councilman why, and how the city and department are responding.
The day after another life lost in Albany’s 10th ward, councilman Owusu Anane says it is time for a change. In a statement to news10 – he said he’s lost confidence in chief Hawkins and the administration needs to remove Hawkins and begin the process of finding a new police chief.
Anane has not sent a formal letter to the city but cites quality of life, safety, and the current approach from department. Something he says can only change with a new chief.
The mayor’s office standing by chief Hawkins noting that under his leadership the following,
“Under Chief Hawkins’ leadership, the Albany Police Department safely apprehended a suspect within hours of this shooting. We condemn Councilmember Anane‘s baseless attack on Chief Hawkins.” – David Galin, Chief of Staff.
The department also standing by their chief’s methods, Albany Police Spokesperson Steve Smith providing the following comment.
“The chief remains focused on addressing violent crime, the proliferation of illegal firearms in our community and other quality of life concerns.” – Steve Smith, Albany Police Spokesperson.
While the chief has support, there are those in the community like Alice Green with Center for Law and Justice who say accountability is key.
“I think they should have done an assessment and evaluation of his performance as police chief and that includes looking at how he handles policing how he handles management and how he relates to the community,” Green also adding, “The common Council Was responsible for approving the selection of the chief”.
We reached out to the other members of the common council to see where they stand, and we have not heard back.
As for who could do a better job, Anane did not have a specific idea, only saying the status quo is not working.