WAMC New York News
11:27 am
Wed September 2, 2009

Albany Police Chief Steps Down

Albany, NY – A national search is underway for a new police chief to serve the City of Albany... Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

City of Albany Police Chief James Tuffey has tendered his resignation... he will officially retire on Saturday. Tuffey was appointed chief by Mayor Jerry Jennings in 2005. He issued a written statement announcing his retirement. The statement does not explain why he is leaving. Several police officers recently wrote an anonymous letter that was delivered to Jennings, certain Common Council members and the Times Union newspaper, in which they complained about a racist remark attributed to Tuffey. Albany Mayoral candidate Corey Ellis said Tuffey's resignation came as a surprise. Mayor Jennings stressed he did not ask Chief Tuffey to resign.

Tuffey allegedly made a racist remark in the early days of the Richard Bailey Murder investigation. Bailey, who was white, was fatally shot in October. No arrests have been made. The son of a New York City police officer, Bailey was walking alone on a residential street not far from Washington Park when he was slain.

Jennings has yet to decide whether he'll appoint an interim chief or turn the reins of department leadership to deputy chiefs. Changes to the city charter that became effective two years ago give the Common Council veto power over the mayor's picks for department heads -- including chief of police.