Troy mayor and police chief address public safety committee

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Troy Public Safety Committee held a virtual meeting on Tuesday night to receive an update from both the Mayor Patrick Madden and Chief of Police Brian Owens on the current state of the city.

An increase in security cameras, better street lighting and more policing in high crime areas were some of the topics discussed.

This year Troy has seen a dramatic rise in gun violence. Chief Owens reported that there have been 22 shootings, 29 people have been struck by bullets and 13 homicides have occurred within the city.

“I can’t say that increasing the minimum staffing is going to solve the problem. We looked at it. We can increase overall staffing the department. I think that would be helpful moving forward,” Owens said.

This comes as two children were victims of gun violence in less than two weeks. Ayshawn Davis, 11, and 17-year-old Tamari Rodriguez were both shot-and-killed.

“I think crime is definitely connected. It crosses jurisdictional boundaries. No question about that. But cohesive movements and spread of crime goes well beyond the city of Troy,” Owens said.

Community relations between officers and residents capped off the discussion.

“I’ve spoken with many of the officers and a lot of them feel like they do not have the support of the community,” said Councilwoman Kim Ashe-McPhearson.

Current tensions stemming from social injustice have impacted the morale of the police force.

“Law enforcement in general has had a very difficult time in the recent months. Our department, we are still committed to the work we do and the people we serve,” Owens said.

While the city works through finding a way to curb crime, Council President Carmella Mantello said in order to do so, there needs to be a collaboration between the city and its residents.

“You can’t do it alone. We can’t do it alone. Government’s not going be the answer. The community can’t do it alone. We have to all work together,” Mantello said.

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