Troy stabbing sparks debate on city surveillance cameras


Troy Police continue to search for a suspect in Monday’s stabbing. The investigation, however, igniting a debate surrounding the reliability of the city’s surveillance cameras. 

Police said an altercation between two men turned violent Monday evening. Around 5 p.m., a 28-year-old man from Petersburg was stabbed several times in the area of Second and Third Streets along Congress Street in Troy.

“He had some stab wounds to the abdomen, as well as the leg, but he’s doing better. From what I understand, he’s going to recover,” said Troy Police Deputy Chief Daniel DeWolf. 

While the knife-wielding suspect remains at large, President of Troy’s Police Benevolent Association suggesting that if the city’s surveillance cameras were operating correctly at the time, the suspect may be in custody by now.

He posted to the PBA’s Facebook page saying in part: “What do you know, the city’s surveillance cameras are not working to assist officers investigating the crime. As a police officer, but more importantly as a tax payer this is unacceptable.” 

City Council President Carmella Mantello echoing those frustrations. She said this has become a reoccurring issue.

“I’m really disappointed in the public safety chair and two of the members on the Public Safety Committee who are literally spending innumerous time on designating the city of Troy as a sanctuary city rather than really focusing on providing that public safety service to the neighborhood,” said Mantello. 

DeWolf acknowledged that there is a camera issue in the city. He said it’s something his department is actively working to secure funding.

“Some of it is aging technology; some of it is a Wi-Fi issue that we have downtown. I mean, it’s a variety of reasons for why the cameras aren’t always working. We have to beef up our camera program and that’s something that were looking for funding for and we may get some funding for that. We’re talking with the city and they’re trying to find sources. It’s an ongoing process,” he said. 

He does not, however, believe that it will hinder this particular investigation. 

“In the meantime, good old fashion police work is solving this case.”

Deputy Director of Public Information, John Salka, released the following statement: 

The Troy Police Department leadership has been proactive in upgrading the City’s aging traffic camera network, and has taken steps to secure the necessary funding for additional upgrades. The mayor and his administration have worked closely with the department on this important public safety effort. 

The mayor has great confidence in Chief Owens and the Police Department command staff. It is never in the City’s interest to politicize an active criminal investigation, and we are disappointed the Council President and PBA do not share that confidence.

DeWolf said, despite the city’s spotty surveillance cameras, they do have good video evidence and eyewitness accounts. He said they feel good about the investigation and have made significant progress towards making an arrest.     

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