Community Policing: The Albany Police Department

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The Albany Police Department’s mission since approximately 1994 has been the implementation of Community Policing within the Department. As we are all aware, Community Policing was first brought to the forefront of the public’s attention with the election of Mayor Whalen in the mid 1980’s, and made strides throughout his tenure but gained formal attention with the election of Mayor Jerry Jennings in 1994. Since that time, Community policing has been a type of “work-in-progress”, changing and deviating from it’s original model ever so slightly with the ebb-and-flow of democratic politics and changing political hands of the city. The original mode of operational change set into place to implement Community Policing around the decentralized…show more content…
If a department wishes to implement such a massive undertaking as community policing, it is imperative that its leaders have a clear-cut definition of what it is that they are trying to implement. Without such a distinct and straightforward definition, how can administrators be expected to explain what it is that they expect their patrolmen and lower level officers to do? Community policing requires officers to be open minded, unbiased, and sensitive to the concerns and problems of others; also known as the new policing paradigm. Even if officers do not agree with a complainant's viewpoint, they should try to listen and understand the problem. Police should display empathy and compassion with sincerity, not in a rehearsed way. Police must also develop skill in planning, problem solving, organization, interpersonal communications, and perhaps most importantly critical thinking.[i] This can only be done through training, training, and more training. The three week post academy training program currently in place is not enough to change the dynamics of policing in Albany into one which embraces community policing with open…show more content…
The restructuring of this department is seemingly centered around information technologies, which is exactly the right direction in which to be heading. The advanced technology being utilized by the department is absolutely crucial in combating crime. Although some types of crime remain the same (a robbery is a robbery and a murder is a murder) some are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and only by keeping one step ahead can the department expect to maintain control. The new plans for GIS and crime mapping are working to reduce crime and increase police productivity. The statistics back the department up. The additional plans for accredited training programs for officers is also a great way to encourage the individual and professional growth of the officers and the department as a whole. In a state where many other departments require advanced degrees in order to become a member of their police department, Albany is seemingly behind the grid, requiring only a high school diploma. Education is truly the key to reform, and encouraging further education among the officers will open and expand their minds, hopefully to a point where each and every one of them embraces the concept of community policing with open arms. The reorganization of the Albany Police Department has

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