Beginning Thursday, members of the New York State Police will join Albany Police patrolling the city's highest crime areas. Albany’s interim police chief Robert Sears says it will help combat crime.
“This can definitely be a resource we can use to help quell a lot of the individual disputes," said Sears.
It's part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent crime prevention initiative announced in May. Sears says this isn’t the first time his officers have worked with state police.
"We work with them in a variety of different functions already. They offered us a resource and we gladly accepted. We wouldn’t turn down a professional police organization like the state police," said Sears.
But Alice Green, executive director of the Center for Law and Justice, says she’s concerned about the troopers' training and how it will translate.
“We don’t know how they're trained to work in urban communities," Green said. "The Albany Police Department has spent a lot of time the last few years training its officers on things like implicit violence, harm reduction and procedural justice," said Green.
She added it could hurt community policing, a program the city's been building on for years.
"When someone from outside comes in, without any discussion with the community, the community is somewhat mistrustful of what’s going on," said Green.
Sears is confident these concerns will be dispelled once the program gets going.
"We're definitely going to try to use some of the resources we get from the state police to deploy in the areas where we're having an increase [in] violence. That will be a key, but it’s going to be very intelligence-based and it's going to be on a day-to-day basis," said Sears.
Sears says at times there could be more than two troopers joining APD officers at night. In regards to how long this partnership will last, he says it is unknown.