Sunday, October 28, 2007

Down the stretch...

With nine days to go until the election, I want to use these last few days to talk about the issues that I believe are vitally important to the residents of Troy.

I guess you could look at it as my final pitch.

First up is public safety.

Your quality of life and safety is our number one priority. And I believe the commitment shows.

Since taking office in 2004, we have taken important steps to improve public safety in the City of Troy. Each year we have increased the size of the department, putting more officers on the street, while reducing upper management. There are more cops on the streets than when I took office. And despite what political mailers this season may say, there is no shortage of officers in the Police Department.

We have ensured the long term stability of Community Police by purchasing substations in North Central and South Troy. Neighborhood groups routinely have police officers in their meetings, discussing block by block issues to determine the problem and fix it. These officers and neighbors are using Comstat crime mapping to address issues in our City together.

When problems surface in neighborhoods we get creative. Whether it is the law limiting the hours of convenience stores, a Social Host Law, or a school curfew, we are willing to be resourceful when fighting crime.

Finally, we acknowledge problems. In past years, leaders in this City promoted voluntary compliance as a way of cracking down. Not anymore. Earlier this year we recognized a spike in crime and created a Street Crimes Unit to attack the problem. In less than three months of work, this unit has made more than 150 arrests that have led to more than 45 felony charges.

Since the inception of this unit there has been a 16 percent drop in crime. While that is positive news, it is not good enough at all. We will continue to work as hard as we can over the next four years to see that the City of Troy remains the safest City in the Capital District.