Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan says she will appoint Southfield, Michigan Police Chief Eric Hawkins as the new Chief of the Albany Police Department.
Hawkins joined the Southfield Police Department in 1990 and was appointed chief in 2012. Under City Code, the Albany Common Council can confirm or reject the appointment within 45 days of receiving written notification. If the Council doesn’t act within that timeframe, the appointment is considered confirmed.
Albany County District Attorney David Soares tells WAMC he is looking for stability.
"This would be my seventh chief during my term," Soares said. "He will be welcomed here with open arms. I am very convinced the department will be supporting its new chief, this community will support its new chief. We just want this chief to stay with us."
Sheehan addressed reporters Friday afternoon at city hall.
"I am hopeful that this is a chief who is going to be with us for a number of years," Sheehan said. "It's certainly something that he's looking to do. He's relocating here from another state and he really is enthusiastic about coming to Albany because of Albany's reputation."
Sheehan says there were more than 30 applicants from around the country to replace acting chief Robert Sears.
"This was a broad applicant pool. A lot of talent in the applicant pool," she said. "From the standpoint of narrowing it down, there were some other really strong candidates, but Chief Hawkins was my first choice, and I am, and I think the city is going to be, grateful that we were able to attract him and have him accept this position."
The chief is paid about $122,000 a year in Albany.
Sheehan said the appointment Fridayis not a reaction to a recent spike in violent crime in the city. With eight homicides so far this year, Albany has been on alert in recent days — with community gatherings and a return to the city by the Guardian Angels.
"This was just the timing of the interviews," Sheehan says. "The timing of this is exactly as we had it scheduled."
Sears has served as acting chief following Brendan Cox’s resignation in January 2017. In June, Sears announced he plans to retire.