ALBANY -- A misunderstanding brought Albany Police Chief John Proctor back from his vacation to set things right.
Proctor was referring to a talk city manager, and Proctor's boss, James Taylor gave at a local Rotary Club meeting during which Taylor said seven officers had resigned. An inference was made that the officers had resigned after Blood gang members shot at a police officer.
"I have talked to Mr. Taylor about the impression that officers are fleeing from gang members," Proctor said. "We are going to do our jobs professionally and efficiently. I don't want anyone to believe, especially those that we are targeting to do our jobs, that we are going to run and flee. We are not going to do that, and that needs to be known."
Proctor spoke at a 3:15 p.m. press conference in the Law Enforcement Center. Taylor was reached later after city business hours.
"I made a mistake," Taylor said. "I was talking with another law enforcement officer who told me about his experiences in another city. I confused the two."
Taylor said he was trying to say that to fight crime, especially gangs, the city had to unite behind the police. Residents in the community should support the police in every way possible.
Realizing police face stress every day, Taylor said that he wanted everyone to know that he fully supports Proctor and his staff.
Normal staff loss has occurred in the department, Proctor said. Recent resignations are unrelated to recent gang violence and threats against police.
Officers have left to follow spouses to other areas for jobs. One returned to his home state of Ohio, and a couple were terminated for not being a good fit in the department.
Of the few resignations, the majority were handed in before Bloods gang members shot at Officer Dillard Glover. One resignation came after the gunfire but was for personal reasons and totally unrelated, Proctor added.
Glover was offered time off after he was attacked, Proctor said. Glover replied he wanted back on the street.
Four street officers accompanied Proctor to the press conference. Eagerly, they stood behind their chief.
"This is a special type of job. It isn't for everyone," said Officer Christopher Richardson. "We are all committed, all committed to doing the job."