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Ninth annual Neighborhoods Work Conference held,
Updated: 11/22/2008 08:10 PM
By: Britt Godshalk


ALBANY, NY -- Just weeks ago police tape marked the spot where SUNY Albany student Richard Bailey was shot and killed. However, this weekend, blocks away, Albany's neighborhood associations marked their ninth annual conference by discussing ways to take city life in a positive direction.


"Whatever we can do as neighbors to assist in the process, we have to do that," said Albany Common Council Member Carolyn McLaughlin.

"It's an affirmation that people care," said Albany Police Assistant Chief Anthony Bruno. "Everything from litter on the street all the way to a homicide in their neighborhood. These things matter to everyone."

Bruno demonstrated the department's mobile data terminals which now sit in every patrol car. An officer can enter an address and like magic all city information about the property, from backed taxes to prior criminal activity, appears in one place.

"It also allows us to draw on these resources and these other values that these other city departments can add to put pressure and get things done," said Bruno.

"This is a quantum leap in the way information is being reported," said Gene Solan, a conference organizer.

Residents said the next step should be using technology to get the neighborhoods more involved.

"Rather than just say, well, let the cops do it," said Solan. "No, this is our neighborhood and we have to be part of the crime prevention team."

Bruno said a long term goal of the team is to create a one stop shop where residents can address quality of life concerns.

"Including being able to file complaints and file reports online," noted Bruno.

"Not just from 9 to 5 when the agency are functioning but at 10 o'clock at night, at midnight," said Solan. "That information is wanted, something is going to happen with it. So I think it's a very hopeful message and the 29 neighborhood associations are going to take the message back to their blocks and their streets and it should result in an invigoration of interest in dealing with so many of those problems."

The police department said there is an email address already set up for residents to report quality of life concerns. That address is

Copyright 2007 TWEAN News Channel of Albany, L.L.C d.b.a. Capital News 9