The Albany Police Department’s century-old South Station is being blamed for sickening dozens of people who have worked there.
Several retired police officers gathered outside the Albany Police Department’s South Station with union vice president Greg McGee.
“The city is basically saying a dollar is more important than human life,” said McGee.
McGee says at least 53 people who have worked at the building have or have had cancer. Several former workers have come forward following the deaths of Albany detectives Kevin Meehan and Jason Martin.
Mayor Kathy Sheehan says millions have been invested in the building, and air quality samples have been deemed safe. Sheehan says she was not notified of the gathering, but is prepared to meet with retirees.
“We stand ready to look at other space for the police department if that building is problematic,” said Sheehan.
Acting Police Chief Robert Sears says he’s anxious to know if conditions are causing cancer, but without evidence, there’s little he can do.
“Right now, there’s just nothing that says that building is making people sick, and I can’t go put a padlock on that door if I’ve got no proof,” said Sears.
Many retirees, however, say South Station should simply be demolished and replaced -- so those who protect and serve are safe after they turn in their badges.
“They want to enjoy their retirement, not within a year, be diagnosed with some rare form of cancer,” said McGee.
Acting Chief Sears, who worked in the building himself, says air quality tests will continue. He says he’s also working to secure funding to improve the living conditions for officers at South Station.