Albany police address 2017 crime trends at press conference

APD Chief Michael Persely details crime trends for the first quarter of 2017 at a press conference on Monday. (Staff Photo: Jon Gosa)

ALBANY — Officials with the Albany Police Department called a press conference Monday to discuss crime concerns in the city during the first quarter of 2017.

“As chief of police, I would like the community to know that the Albany Police Department has taken an aggressive approach to identifying and apprehending suspects,” APD Chief Michael Persley said. “This morning, I want to provide an overview response update to recent crimes that have occurred during the first quarter of this year. Some of the cases we will highlight would be the homicide on South Jackson that occurred back in March, the Byron Road homicide, and the Justin King and Curtis Davis homicides that occurred back in 2016.”

According to Persley, several such cases are still under investigation.

“The department is still conducting numerous investigations and operations in an effort to make a positive impact on crime trends, and I would like to extend a special thanks to the men and women of the Albany Police Department for their tireless efforts of keeping this community safe,” the chief said. “We continue to experience a 26-year low in crime, and we would like to stay on that course.

“Now, although we enjoy a low crime rate, that does not mean there is no crime. That’s why moving forward in 2017, the Albany Police Department would like to take every opportunity to continue to build on our positive relationships that we have within the community.”

Persley said a safe community depends on involvement by local citizens.

“Keeping a safe community means developing partnerships between citizens and the department that serves them,” he said. “We firmly believe that by providing consistent crime prevention education to our community, we can help citizens learn how to keep their families, homes and property safe and at the same time keep crime and the fear of crime at bay within our city.”

According to Persley, such partnerships rely heavily on those citizens who are willing to report crime in their area.

“In order to do this, we need the citizens to have the courage to continue to report these crimes and report those who are committing these crimes,” he said. “The Albany Police Department is committed to protecting its citizens and their property as well as their rights while providing quality public safety services. The city of Albany is a great place to live, work and play, and we want our residents to enjoy an excellent quality of life.”

According to APD Major Brian Lavoie, seven individuals have been arrested in connection to the March 4 homicide of John Lewis Jr. that occurred on the 1900 block of South Jackson Street.

“We have arrested multiple individuals in connection to the John Lewis homicide,” said Lavoie. “Those arrested include Adonis Warren, 24; Corey Wright, 22; Eric Davis, 20; Demetrius Luke, 21; Vontravious Jones, 23; Markell Brown, 26, and Jarod Wright, 15. We are still searching for Jamarious Wright, 24, who has an active murder warrant out against him.”

Lavoie offered details of three other homicide cases, including those of Justin King, killed Dec. 11, 2016; Curtis Davis Jr., killed Dec. 17, 2016, and Bryan White, killed Feb. 6 of this year.

“In the Justin King case, we have charged Cordarrius Clay with murder in connection to King’s death,” said Lavoie. “We have also charged Michael Brown with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection to that murder. We are still searching for Jamale Moore, who is facing felony murder charges and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There is an active warrant out for Moore’s arrest. As far as the Brian White investigation, we have no arrests to report at this time, but the investigation is still active.

“In the Curtis Davis Jr. case, we have seven suspects in jail, and we are still actively seeking two others. Those arrested include Brian Massey, charged with possession of controlled substance, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault; Berrick Redding, charged with conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault; Reginald Holsey Jr., charged with aggravated assault and felony murder; Timothy Clemmons, charged with felony murder and aggravated assault; Cordarrius Clay, charged with felony murder and aggravated assault; Treshawn Palmer, charged with felony murder and aggravated assault; and Hudie Johnson, charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. We are still actively seeking Montrevious Parks and Alonzo Jones in connection to this case.”

Lavoie explained that although APD is following up on leads every day to solve these violent crimes, help from the entire community is needed to get these criminals off the streets.

“We need the help of the whole community, but we are still following up on tips everyday,” he said. “There are still four individuals that we are looking for. You can call the tips number, you can call us individually, or call anybody you know to pass the information to us and we will be glad to go wherever they are at.”

To report a crime, call APD at (229) 436-2100 or Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS (8477).

I am primarily the public safety reporter, but also cover a variety of other news events and special features. I am a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Philosophy and have been with the Herald since April of 2016.

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