TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Despite some community pushback up until the last minute, Troy City Council has voted to add six new community officers to their police force. The measure passed 5-2.
There are concerns from local community activists and organizers that the department doesn’t need more police, and a city council member even suggested there needs to be more concrete evidence that this is what people want. Mayor Patrick Madden responded to that by saying the calls from constituents for more boots on the ground in the city are already there.
“We’ve gotten scores of letters from people who run neighborhood organizations, who participate in neighborhood organizations, and they reflect back on the days when we had community police officers interacting with them on a regular basis,” Madden said during the zoom meeting, “and they’re imploring you to hire more community police officers, to bring that practice back.”
Madden told NEWS10 the ordinance does not create new positions, but transfers funds from a contingency account to the police department account to the tune of $125,580 for salaries, $36,000 for uniforms, and thousands in other expenses. He says the positions would be created through the civil service process.
The mayor explained the city gets up to 55,000 calls a year for police assistance, and they have bodies available to respond to those calls. But he says what the department needs from these 6 new positions that are not part of the patrol division is to circulate the neighborhoods and spend time with people.
“This is all of us working together,” said City Council President Carmella Mantello, “and even the folks that voted no, they want to see this work. All of us want to see one Troy, and this is a step in that direction.”
The new officers are set to be training in the academy by July, and on the job by January 2022.
Bob Blackmon, a Board Member for the Justice Center of Rensselaer County sent a statement to NEWS10. The entire statement can be viewed below.