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The Berkshires

Community meeting to discuss police relations

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Albany/HV: Community meeting to discuss police relations
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A meeting was held in Troy to discuss improving relations between the police department and the community. It's the second meeting of its kind held in the city recently. Innae Park has more.

TROY, N.Y. -- It was a markedly different tone. At the second community meeting aimed to better the relationship between the Troy Police Dept and their public, Pastor Willie Bacote refused to mince words.

Bacote said, “Nobody wants to talk about it, nobody wants to say the ‘r’ word.”

Racism. The pastor of Missing Link AME Zion Church says it exists, specifically among a few city officers.

“Some of the Troy police officers, not all of them, are using these epitomes and names and the ‘n’ word to address some of the citizens in North Central Troy,” Bacote said. “Call an apple an apple and call a racist a racist, and face what we need to deal with.”

Accompanying the forceful message, a promise to work on change.

Deputy Chief Buddy McAvoy said, “We have systems in place that will throw red flags to identify, if there are, rogue officers.”

Khaleed Pascal has filed a complaint after he was arrested for a fight. He says he's now trying to look beyond and try to improve the future.

“I know they have a hard job. They see stuff we don't see,” Pascal said. “We can make a difference.”

Others are stepping alongside him in that quest.

“Trust is something developed over a course of time,” McAvoy said.

“One step at a time, one individual at a time,” said Pascal.

The city has opened up the opportunity for citizens to get involved through the Police Objective Review Committee. Members of this committee will review the police department's investigations and make recommendations, among other responsibilities. The applications were released Friday. They can be found online at www.troyny.gov or at the mayor's office.

The Mayor has also proposed creating the position of public safety commissioner to allow for greater oversight of the police department.

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