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Commissioners call for new safety policies

In this still photo from a July 4 surveillance video at the intersection of Front Street and Broad Avenue, people are seen running from a fight that prompted police to cut short a holiday fireworks show.

In this still photo from a July 4 surveillance video at the intersection of Front Street and Broad Avenue, people are seen running from a fight that prompted police to cut short a holiday fireworks show.

ALBANY -- The latest ripple from a fight that caused police to end the city's fireworks show July 4 could end up prompting a policy change for public and private events from the Albany City Commission.

The issue was raised by Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell Tuesday as commissioners considered a one-day alcohol license sought by Flint River Habitat for Humanity for a fundraiser planned Aug. 11 in the parking lot of Austin's Firegrill and Oyster Bar on Old Dawson Road.

"I'm not going to rubber stamp any more processes where alcohol is served because people have a good time and then all hell breaks loose," Postell said. "We've got to do something about the violence."

Austin Newman, the owner and proprietor of Austin's Firegrill, told commissioners he had arranged to have Marine reservists from Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany provide security and was considering getting off-duty police officers to work the event.

Commissioner Christopher Pike suggested that city staff should research a possible policy change that would require, as a condition of an alcohol license, hosts of events to include a certain number of police officers based on the size of the event.

The commission is reacting to a July 4 fight near Turtle Grove Play Park that prompted police to call an early end to the fireworks show on Front Street.

Police arrested 17-year-old Desmond Sadique Warren and charged him with carrying a pistol while under the age of 18. Two other teens, Cantonese Javar Kennedy, 17, and Antwon Johnson, 19, were arrested for fighting, and each was charged with disorderly conduct and released on less than $130 bail, according to jail officials.

Warren was issued a $1,000 bond.

City Manager James Taylor issued a memo following the fight saying that steps will be taken to ensure public safety for large public events. Included in the deliberations by city staff are ways to curb the participation of lone juveniles; the ones who often cause disruptions.

Comments

Abytaxpayer 2 years, 5 months ago

Now this is “Smart” government at work.

Admitting you are inept and asking the private sector to do what you have FAILED at!!!!

City Commissioners are admitting they can’t control the trouble makers in Albany so now they want to place that burden on the business owners.

You want to hold an event and APD knows they are out gunned so you are on your own and must provide your own security.

Just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about my personal safety in Albany.

Guess now the Downtown Merchants Association will be responsible for providing armed escorts to their customers too.

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dingleberry 2 years, 5 months ago

Reminds me of the black pastor who told the County Commissioners in a recent session that the two closed libraries would have more usage if a policeman were assigned to each. A woman at one of the libraries had a snatch and run with her pocketbook and the facility had picked up a crime reputation which caused a drop in usage.

Events like the recent fights are spontaneous and can't be controlled by any ordinance. Albany has a long supply of citizens who aren't civilized and the rule of law is null and void.

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Gabrielblows 2 years, 5 months ago

Comparing the attendees of the event at Austin's to the brawl downtown at Turtle Park is like apples and oranges. The "crowd" from downtown will not be at Austin's. Why? Because they are not interested in attending an event like this. Furthermore, it's too far for them to walk! Putting the burden of security in mass like some of the City Commisioner's want to do is un-necessary and too costly for the businessman.

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bigbob 2 years, 5 months ago

Ya thats a great idea make the merchants pay the enept APD officers $30.00 a hour to do security even though they have admiited they can't control these thugs when their on duty. Another great idea from the commision.

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rock 2 years, 5 months ago

POSTELL-----ANYONE WHO LISTENS TO THIS RACIST IS ONLY ADDING TO THE PROBLEM. POSTELL WANTS EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY IN THE CITY OF ALBANY TO BE BLACK...JUST LISTEN TO WHAT HE WANTED ON THE AIRPORT COMMISSION....IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT IS GOING ON AS LONG AS IT BLACK AND POSTELL WANTS IT ALL BLACK.

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thedeepend 2 years, 5 months ago

Postell doesn't seem to realize the drinking age is 21 and those mentioned here didn't meet that criteria, so now everyone has to suffer the penalty for their foolishness. Instead of getting tough on these out of control idiots, he'd rather hamstring honest business people, charitable organizations, & responsible citizens. If vendors were selling these dolts drink, the remedy is already on the books. Charge the offending vendors and refuse future licenses to those who break the law. If these kids brought their own, it falls back on APD & the city for allowing it to happen. I'm sick of the commission blaming the public for the problems it creates by selectively enforcing the law.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 5 months ago

What the heck does all of this have to do with what happened at the fireworks? This proves just how out of touch they really are. How about coming up with some REAL solutions to these problems. But as long as we have a corrupt school system these problems will only escalate. We have a GANG problem and they need to understand that.

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willie 2 years, 5 months ago

So, Mr. Postell you admit by your quote in todays paper and here on line to being a RUBBER STAMP. Who sir are you a RUBBER STAMP for and what have you affirmed your RUBBER STAMP to and for whom?

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Amazed2 2 years, 5 months ago

Guess I am puzzled?? I was not aware that the Fireworks event brawls by the 15 and 17 year old gun toten thugs had anything to do with Alcohol sales. I think the last time I checkd that alcohol sales to adults meeting the legal age requirements by proof of identification is legal. Fighting and carrying guns at public event has nothing to do with the Fireworks. This is just Postell trying to screw with Law abiding citizens and business men who legally apply to the city. Real Simple solution for Austin and the Habitat for Humanity People call Lee County and see if you can hold the event there. I bet Lee County would love to have the business.

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Amazed2 2 years, 5 months ago

Yea my company had a Christmas party event a few years ago at the Riverquarium. The agreement called for us to pay for two security guards furnished by the Riverquarium. Found both of them in the kitchen eating our food that we paid to cater in, Both of them were in the food prep room fixing big plates while they talked to Riverquarium girl. By the way they never asked if it was OK to eat our food. That is Albany security. Instead of watching the door or checking the parking lot they were stuffing thier face on Free Food.

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Amazed2 2 years, 5 months ago

LEE COUNTY you need to build you an EVENT CENTER you are fixing to get busy.

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whattheheck 2 years, 5 months ago

I suggest using the Grand Island facility that could use the extra money until the new library/conference center /coffee shop comes on line and will need extra money. No buses other than Medicaid transit serve the area so perhaps the riffraff will stay in Albany.

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rightasrain 2 years, 5 months ago

Postell reminds me of the old movies which had an "African" theme, based in Africa and every time something happened, all the tribe's people would dress up in their most outrageously colorful attire (headdress included) assemble together, dance in a circle and do a lot of hollering. Postell does come across as a first class racist, and by the way he's the "chief" leading the African shuffle. What a joke!

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rock 2 years, 5 months ago

REALLY HERALD.....THIS IS IS POSTED EVERYDAY SINCE TUESDAY....

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