New Law Would Help Police Track Parolees

Feb 19, 2013

Police in the city of Troy may soon get a bit of "enforcement assistance" with a new local law that supporters say would help control crime.  

Troy's City Council has been discussing creating a registration program for parolees that would require individuals fresh out of prison who take up residence in town to register with the Chief of Police.

Councilwoman Nina Nichols chairs Troy's Public Safety Committee - she says registration would offer a valuable tactical tool the police department could use. Registrants would be issued ID cards. The measure excludes anyone convicted of a misdemeanor as well as individuals granted "youthful offender" status. Neighboring cities including Albany, Rensselaer and Watervliet have similar laws on the books.

Nichols points out that annually some 150 parolees settle down in Rensselaer County. City Council President Lynn Kopka says the legislation is now in finance committee. The registry will NOT be retroactive - it will apply to new releases only.

Kopka says the law will require parolees to provide the chief of police with -the name by which they are known, as well as any aliases; all past and new addresses, the penal institution they were released from and the crimes for which they were last imprisoned. She expects the measure will pass.

Nichols adds that 7 to 10 parolees arrive in Troy each month: she anticipates the only expense to taxpayers will be the cost of producing the identification cards.