ALBANY, N.Y.(NEWS10) – Paesan’s Pizza owner Frank Scavio and Pastors on Patrol’s Bishop Avery Comithier team up in the new year with a new patrol. NEWS10 was out with the new collaboration to see the first-hand impact they can have.
Comithier, founder of Pastors on Patrol (P.O.P), and Scavio took NEWS10 on a patrol in the Pine Hills neighborhood. The first stop was to Trios, a delicatessen and market on Ontario Street.
“Gun fighting like after 10 o’clock, 12 o’clock. So, we have to close because there’s so much traffic,” said a clerk from behind the counter.
But very soon the community will see a new type of presence in the neighborhood.
“At nights you’re going to see more of us sometime at night you’ll see pastors just walking in making sure you’re safe” said Bishop Avery Comithier.
Scavio claims it was another gun shooting incident that kept him and his family from getting to their Ontario Street restaurant after a family weekend outing a few weeks ago that prompted his call.
“Reinforce that safety feeling by having a presence in the streets. I think it’s just that simple,” said Scavio.
“I think when you come to faith-based, when you come to business owners and residents, our young people [and] education, we have to put it all together,” said Comithier.
The bishop has a plan in mind for patrols.
“Common Council, the County Legislators, they are their constituents, and we want them to go with us so that their people that they represent will see them,” said Bishop Comithier.
10th Ward representative Owusu Anane welcomes the new idea.
“So they see the faith leaders walking with a business on a law enforcement they understand that ultimately we here we don’t have no agenda but to make our neighborhood safe,” said Anane.
Local shops also praise the effort.
“It’s good to have the patrol and it makes anybody feel safer,” said the owner of Express Chicken & Gyro.
The patrol already having a far-reaching impact.
“What we’re doing in Pine Hills will be the model for Arbor Hill for West Hill,” said Bishop Comithier.
Bishop Comithier and Scavio plan to meet every first Tuesday of the month with the first patrol scheduled to kick off April 4.