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Albany County Sheriff says partnership with Albany City Police will continue

Sheriff Craig Apple
Ashley Hupfl
Sheriff Craig Apple

Albany County Sherriff Craig Apple says his office will not end its partnership with Albany City Police until the department has enough officers to successfully combat the rise in gun violence.

Speaking to WAMC Thursday, Apple says he has no plans to end the partnership any time soon:

"Trust me, it's costing us a lot of money to come into the city. So, when Albany P.D. says, 'Hey, we're good to go and we no longer need assistance,' at that point, we will move our troops out. But, in the meantime, they're short, they're short telecommunicators, they're short all around, so we're here to help them and keep the city safe and that's what we're going to continue to do."

This week, the Albany Police Benevolent Association condemned the sheriff’s office’s continued presence in the city and criticized what they call a high-speed chase that led to a crash Monday night, which injured another driver.

Albany County Legislature Chairman Andrew Joyce, a Democrat, says he is constantly evaluating the situation:

"We constantly assessing what's working and what isn't. If the need exists, that's a conversation that's going to have to happen between the city leadership and county leadership through our public safety committee, through the sheriff's department. I'm going to accept any recommendation that gets made from our partners in terms of keeping the people in the city of Albany safe."

An Albany Police spokesperson says Apple and Chief Eric Hawkins had a productive conversation this week, and their command staffs are meeting to discuss the partnership.

"The safety and security of the Albany community remains my top priority," Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said in a statement. "We're constantly assessing the efficacy of our partnerships with other law enforcement agencies. I am committed to ensuring that the nature of those partnerships are consistent with needs and expectations of my officers and the residents of this community."

Apple also addressed the criminal charges against former Governor Andrew Cuomo. Apple says there have been no changes to Cuomo’s forcible touching case and he is still expected to appear in Albany court January 7th.

Cuomo is accused of groping an aide in the Executive Mansion last year. If convicted of the misdemeanor, he would have to register as a sex offender. Cuomo denies all wrongdoing.

Apple declined to comment on the case.

"I'm not comfortable talking about it at all at this point. The D.A. has it and I would leave it up to him at this point."

There has been public disagreement between Apple and District Attorney David Soares over how the case has proceeded.