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Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan On More Police Reform, Clearing Protestors, Covered Badges, Dirt Bikes

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins with Mayor Kathy Sheehan at police HQ.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins with Mayor Kathy Sheehan at police HQ.

A month after presenting its Policing Reform and Reinvention Plan to the state, Albany is looking to convene a new series of community meetings at a tense time in the city. Mayor Kathy Sheehan, a Democrat running for a third term, tells WAMC the city will release an RFP next week for an outside group to facilitate the conversations.

It comes after city police cleared protestors from their encampment outside a police station in the South End last week in a dramatic scene that has drawn sharp criticism from activists and some city officials.

Civil rights leaders said Tuesday that the clash — where some police officers were seen covering their badge numbers after giving protestors 15 minutes to vacate — eroded trust. 

The mayor also discussed forthcoming changes to the city police force’s general orders and dispatch program, as well as the ongoing battle against dirtbikes and ATVs on city streets.

Sheehan spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus Wednesday.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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