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Troy Police Chief will not revive street crime unit
TROY--Following a rash of violence in the City of Troy, a number of council members have asked the Chief of Police and the Mayor to consider reinstating the street crimes unit within the Troy City Police Department.
"Every year for the last 3-4 years, I've made the same request, please can we bring back the street crimes unit" Councilman Jim Gordon said at a press conference on Thursday. He claims he's heard from a number of the people he represents in the Lansingburgh area that the city seemed safer when that unit was working the streets.
Many of the folks who spoke with CBS6 in the neighborhood said they'd support anything that might help cutdown on the violence. "I think that would be good, I think having the state police, more of a state police presence would also be good," says Frank Hoffay who lives along 3rd avenue in Lansingburgh. He's seen and felt the violence firsthand, "I got stabbed up here by the abandon house in the middle of the block, you can see my stab wound, it's pretty much healed up right now--that was July 5th. Someone just came out from behind a parked car, he stabbed me and then just ran off," he tells CBS6.
Troy Police Chief John Tedesco says he's added patrols, has officers and detectives working overtime but at this point he will not consider restarting the street crimes unit, "the street crimes unit was disbanded the last time we had it because of our issues with overaggressive tactics and claims of that and being sued in federal court, so until we get to a point where I can at least appoint a supervisor that I'm confident in to control that, I'm not willing to take that leap," he says. Especially considering recent events both locally and nationally. "I don't think the public in the city of Troy, after the Kokopelli's incident and the showing we've had are going to support our officers and I can't put them in that situation, I just can't do it... I think the mood of the country has changed from the aggressive police tactics that we're seeing in Ferguson and I don't want that to occur in Troy, I'm not saying that it would but on behalf of the citizens, I have to be able to at least somewhat ensure that I can control that, Chief Tedesco says.
Current union regulations don't allow the Chief of Police to name a leader of the unit the way he'd like to. He can't skip over officers with higher seniority in order to appoint an officer he think would better suit the unit. Mayor Lou Rosamilla says he stands behind the chief's decision, "we are working, actively to come up with the best possible solutions to eliminate what's going on," the Mayor tells CBS6.