Bags of APD files found

ALBANY -- A city resident found sensitive documents listing Albany Police Department officers' names and social security numbers in trash bags in an alley near West Residence Avenue Monday.

The discovery led to an Internal Affairs investigation into the files and who put them in the alley, police officials said.

The bags were not picked up by trash removal employees because they were not in a trash can, said police spokeswoman Phyllis Banks.

The resident, Brian Duncan, turned the files over to a television station instead of the police.

That wasn't the procedure Police Chief John Proctor would have liked followed, he said. He is all too aware that previous police administrations could have been suspect in residents' eyes.

"He (Duncan) thought it was in his best interest to share it with the media before he shared it with us. I am hopeful that we can get beyond that at some point in this community," Proctor said. "I have none of that connectivity to the old guard here. I want to do the very best and what's right for the community."

Duncan could not be reached by phone Tuesday night.

Based upon what he has learned, Proctor opened an internal investigation. The Internal Affairs Unit is investigating the alleged involvement of police Capt. Ernest Williams, who lives near where the bags were found.

The disposal of the records may have broken state laws regarding proper disposal of documents or police procedures. When the investigation is over, Proctor said he will take proper disciplinary action if needed.

"I take a look at a completed investigation and look at if state law was violated or policy," Proctor said. "We'll go on from there."