Howard Stoller made brief remarks discussing the genesis of the idea for
tonight’s speakers and everyone in attendance introduced themselves.
Soares, Albany County District Attorney
Soares discussed the District Attorneys Office and how the neighborhood
Associations are a large part of their crime fighting strategy.
He went on to discus the Community Prosecution Initiatives, and the two
new offices that were opened on Clinton and Dana Ave.
These offices deal with quality of life offenses .
stated that the District Attorney’s office does not own the problem, everyone
does. He emphasized that an active
neighborhood is a safe neighborhood.
followed that thought up by detailing a rash of burglaries in Pine Hills from
February to April in 2006.
The arrest of the perpetrators was made possible due to cooperation of
the community. He than discussed
what the neighborhood associations are doing with the Albany Police Department.
District Attorney stressed that it is important for the neighborhoods to come
together to define the problem and identify the location of criminal activity
through mapping. This is done
through a Neighborhood Assessment Strategy, where the DA’s office will provide
a tax map of each neighborhood association, so they can define their strengths
and weaknesses. Every neighborhood
association is different and will have different issues.
He stressed that each neighborhood association should have a public
gave examples of working with landlords, the Department of Social Services and
Parole and Probation officers to remove criminal elements from neighborhoods.
important that people know the proper authorities to call when they see
problems. He used the example of a
convenience store selling cigarettes to minors, and that the Department of
Health or Tax and Finance may be a better place to contact.
then discussed the idea of Community Accountability Boards in which citizens
make decisions on how people will be punished for quality of life crimes.
He wants every neighborhood association to have one since it empowers
citizens in the community.
next topic of discussion was the Safe Homes, Safe Streets program.
Landlords register tenants so police can tell if people are “where the
should be.” He stated that
landlords have a responsibility to address problem tenants.
District Attorney then pointed out that Albany County is the only county in the
country that has a Citizen Observer Program, in which citizens can go online to
contact law enforcement about criminal activities through either emails or text
messages. This tool is used to hold
law enforcement accountable. Soares
stated that he would like to come back and do a full presentation of this
program for CANA.
than went on to reemphasize the importance of having a Neighborhood Assessment
Strategy and Walk & Watch programs. “Bring everyone who has
responsibilities to your neighborhood to the table.”
District Attorney then took questions from CANA members.
Aikens -- Director, Albany County
Department of Probation
Aikens emphasized that Probation is different from Parole.
Probation gets a person before they have gone to prison, and work with
them to keep the person out of there. Probation
supervises about 800 juveniles and 3,200 adults.
Probation also provides pre-sentence investigations for the court system.
then took questions from
Fraley and Joe Ingemi -- New York State Division of Parole
people who get out of state prison are supervised by the Division of Parole.
Ed pointed out that there are plenty of ways to get out of prison and
that each of the New York’s 70 correction facilities has its own parole
prisoners meet the Parole Board four months before release and plenty of work is
done at this time. The residence that the prisoner is going home to is
investigated, and the rule is that prisoners go back to the community that they
came from. In some cases, families
move so the prisoner must move there also.
are “full service customers” since there are many issues that they have to
deal with upon release. In many
cases when someone is released from prison things tend to fall apart, so several
local and state agencies are brought to the table to help solve the problem.
then pointed out that 1,600 parolees live in the four local counties and that
900 live in Albany alone. When they
come out there are conditions of parole which are not difficult to live by.
They are required to see their parole officer weekly until settled and
have a job. Then their schedule is
parole officer is responsible to keep the parolee on the straight and narrow or
to get them locked up again (depending on the threat level).
and Joe than took questions from
Committee Reports -- Submitted
on University & Community Relations
-- The next meeting was scheduled for June 11th, and other summer meetings will
be on July 9th, and August 13th. There
is no current advertising campaign.
meeting adjourned at 8:57 PM.
4, 2008 Attendees