TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Troy Mayor Patrick Madden spoke openly about the violence seen in neighborhoods across his city. Following the killing of 11-year-old Ayshawn Davis, residents have been critical about his response to crime in their community.
“My first obligation in this particular instance is to the family,” Madden said. “Shooting into a crowd does not make you a man. It doesn’t make you tough. It shows that you’re a coward.”
The mayor said his second priority is to the investigation into the young boy’s death and other active cases.
Despite seeing a downward trend in violent crime for the last several years, shootings and gun recoveries this year are up.
“This is the phenomenon that we’re all trying to understand. What is actually causing this gun violence? And I haven’t heard or come up with a good explanation to what’s going on,” Madden said.
To deter crime, neighbors have expressed frustration that city cameras haven’t been installed and have complained that adequate street lighting isn’t available.
“We took an inventory of the lighting in the city and passed that along to National Grid, and they are working to replace or repair street lights that are not functioning,” Madden said. “We’re all frustrated by the lack of resources to reinvest into the community. A government moves slowly, unfortunately, it’s difficult to push that process.”
The mayor said there’s a misconception about what some have called a “Tale of Two Cities.” Many residents note the bustling downtown compared to the city’s more impoverished neighborhoods.
“[The downtown is] not city investment, it’s private investment. And what we’ve been working on is investing in parks in North Central. We are investing in housing through our non-profit partners,” Madden said.
Though he said he can’t meet with everyone, he said he’s confident in the relationships he built with communities. The calls for change to the mayor’s office have not gone unnoticed.
“Sometimes it’s a pain in the neck, but it’s a good pain in the neck to have. It means that people are invested in the neighborhood emotionally and that’s what we need,” Madden said.
A rise in crime and concerns in the way government has addressed it is not isolated to Troy. In the case of Davis, he asks the boy’s killer to “take a look at the pain” they’ve caused.
“There’s got to be better ways to settle differences,” Madden said.
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