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The Albany Police Department (APD) is steeped in the rich tradition of professional policing and its ability to serve the members of the community. The APD can be traced back to 1609 when the first Dutch Settlers traveled up the Hudson River and established Fort Orange, which eventually evolved into the City of Albany. The City of Albany is the state capital of the State of New York and the county seat for Albany County.
In 1686, New York State Governor Thomas Dongan granted the “Dongan Charter” which officially recognized Albany as a city. At this time, the enforcement of laws and the preservation of order remained the responsibility of the constables. However, in 1851, a regular and systematic police department was established. Today, the APD has over 530 employees, consisting of both sworn and non-sworn personnel, each whom play a vital role in promoting safety and enhancing quality of life in Albany. The Department considers its employees it’s most valuable resource, essential to providing citizens with services. To that end, the APD strives to maintain the highest quality of personnel to most effectively serve its populace.
The main functions of the APD are patrol and investigations. Members of the Patrol Division are first responders tasked with handling and mastering a multitude of calls for service including crimes in progress, domestic disturbances, medical issues, juvenile issues, and traffic control needs to name a few. Today’s APD utilizes a wide array of modern policing tactics and technological advancements to achieve its mission. Officers are limited only by their ambition and ingenuity regarding the methods they employ to promote community policing, problem solving, crime prevention, and dispute resolution. Members of the Detective Division investigate reports of criminal conduct, respond to active crime scenes, collect and process evidence, analyze and disseminate crime data, identify crime trends and patterns, assist in the prosecution of criminals, vigorously advocate for victims, and work hand-in-hand with families and the juvenile justice system to reduce juvenile crime and delinquency.
In addition to these primary functions performed by patrol and investigations, APD administrative support units also play a crucial role. They are responsible for the creation of policy, presenting high quality and relevant training for all employees, dispatching calls for service, the entry and maintenance of departmental records, the dissemination of records to the public, building and equipment maintenance, the processing and temporary lodging of prisoners, fleet acquisition and maintenance, updating and maintaining the computer technology utilized by the Department, purchasing, payroll, and the efficient use of resources.
Furthermore, the Office of Professional Standards ensures that the APD is represented by the best possible personnel through rigid hiring standards which vet out all but the most competent and qualified applicants. They continue to ensure the highest level of employee performance by fielding citizen feedback and complaints, investigating and addressing any potential conduct issues, and working to correct any discrepancies or deficiencies in the areas of training and policy.
Lastly, the Special Operations Division provides a skilled support contingent to the Patrol Division, and handles the planning and response for the many special events which occur daily within the City of Albany, ranging from large scale music festivals to runs for charity. Special Operations units include K-9 patrols, mounted officers, traffic safety specialists, honor guard, animal control officers, school crossing officers, and the traffic engineering staff.
The APD continues to provide the highest quality of police services to the members of the Albany community. The dedicated members of the APD are committed to ensuring that Albany’s residents, visitors, and commuters are safe and may enjoy all that the city of Albany has to offer.
The Albany Police Department is currently internationally accredited by The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). As part of this accreditation, the APD has met 486 established standards that have enhanced departmental efficiency and will further advance our vision of becoming a leader in law enforcement and emergency incident management. It also means that the APD has demonstrated that our policies and procedures comply with internationally established standards for law enforcement excellence. Being accredited by CALEA will help the APD by continuing to strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities, improve self delivery, solidify interagency cooperation and coordination and boost citizen and employee confidence in the Department. Learn more about CALEA.