TROY, N.Y. – Troy City council members want the city police to better use resources after recent violent crimes.
One council member was very upset on Thursday because Troy Police Chief John Tedesco was asking residents to be patient and stated that crime overall was down in the city. Council member Jim Gordon said that Tedesco's message is not the right one and residents expect more.
On Wednesday, Chief Tedesco and Mayor Lou Rosamilia said officers were tired but were handling the recent rash of violence in the city very well and that the investigations would lead to solved crimes.
However, the city council held its own press conference on Thursday and encouraged the department to re-work its officers so more are able to be on the street. They also asked if a street crime unit could be brought back.
"If we need to hire more cops; fund more overtime. People want cops on the street. People need to see cops,” Gordon said. “We have problems with gangs; address them. We have problems with street crime; address them.”
Tedesco said he’s already reworked officers to help, but reinstating the street crime unit is not currently an option. Residents, however, want more of a police presence.
“We want to live here,” Lansingburgh resident Glenn James said. “We want to raise our kids in a safe environment, and we just want you guys to be there a little bit more to show your police presence. If there’s violence, let them know that you’re staying here, and you’re not going anywhere and we’re not going to have it.”
Mayor Rosamilia said extra funding for more officers or overtime is not possible, but he said the city has more overtime to use in the current budget.
Damien Seabury has lived in his Lansingburgh home for nearly and decade and said he wouldn’t mind a tax increase to pay for more protection.
“If it means safer streets and everything, getting these people off the streets and stop doing stuff so the kids can grow up like we have, yeah,” he said.
Chief Tedesco said the unit would help with the shootings but not homicides as the risk to officers and the department is too high.
"If I'm going to put a unit to be out there and be aggressive, that's the only assignment I can give them, alright,” Tedesco said. “And I don't think the public and city of Troy after the Kokopellis incident and the showing we've had are going to support our officers. I can't put them in that situation.”
The council met on Wednesday with Tedesco and said they are discussing these new ideas to improve safety in the city, but it could take a while before any changes are made or approved.