Law Enforcement Initiative
Albany Law Enforcement Reconciliation Team
Around the nation we're seeing the relationship between Law Enforcement Agencies and many of our inner city communities shattered by violence that often leads to death.
This activity leads to people living in fear and "some Law Enforcement officers living with thoughts that no one can be trusted, especially if they are different than they are.
Over the years we have some policemen acting in isolated incidents causing harm and even death to American citizens of African American descent. In retaliation we have had some citizens from this same culture becoming so frustrated with the lack of "those" officers being indicted and convicted for obvious criminal acts, that they have taken the law in their own hands.
Many people would agree that something needs to be done but most are without answers to the question of "How do we stop the bleeding?"
When there are obvious injustices and the guilty party is not indicted, we know that if the law protects them, we can't fault the guilty person, but the issue lies in the law and the interpretation of the Constitution of the United States that the laws are supposed to be based on.
Therefore, if there are perceived injustices we must find a way to influence the policies, procedures and laws that govern our land.
I'm persuaded that there are many very good organizations around our region and country that are doing everything they can to shine the light on these injustices. Not only that, but they are leading compelling arguments that state that "There must be a coming together of the Community and Law Enforcement if we are going to work out our differences.
Through our ALERT initiatives we have an opportunity to influence the laws, policies and procedures in our city, county, state and potentially the nation. This is not something that we take lightly neither is it something that we are going to take for granted.
Over the past few years, we have pulled our chairs up to the table and developed meaningful dialogue with the Albany Police Department; Albany County Sheriff's Department; New York State Police; Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Albany County District Attorney's office.
Our objective is to be a group of leaders that will bring reconciliation between the various communities we represent and these Law Enforcement agencies that have been commissioned to protect and serve us as citizens of the United States of America.
Our desire is to give oversight to these agencies and influence the way policing is done. We will fight to ensure that equity is accomplished for people of all races and any disparities that may favor one group of people over another is addressed and corrected.
To do this effectively, we have a mentality that says we are not here to "make or demand what we feel we need as leaders. We are established to advocate for the people in our communities and simultaneously be a bridge that will connect the community with these Law Enforcement agencies with hope of enhancing those relationships.
The acronym, ALERT identifies our mission of being people of reconciliation. Albany Law Enforcement Reconciliation Team.
Defined, the word ALERT means, "The ability to think clearly and notice things; Watchful and prompt to meet danger or emergency; Quick to perceive and act. These are the qualities that will have and enhance as we become more proficient in our mission.
The word "reconcile" is not meant to bring opposing parties "back" into a state of agreement that was never there, but to bring possibly opposing ideas and philosophies to the table and come to meaningful and long term solutions.
This takes being patient and understanding the potential long term implications of what we are doing.
Through our ALERT initiatives we will see relationships improve in our region knowing that we are one of many agencies that are in place to give our Law Enforcement agencies accountability and oversight.
More to come¦