After a series of shootings, residents of Troy are being assured they'll be safe this weekend.
Officials in Troy invite you to come downtown over the weekend. There will be more police presence and visibility, especially around the vicinity of 4th and Congress streets, near Kokopellis nightclub, the scene of a January melee, and home to Gino's Pizza, where a gunman sprayed five customers with shots during the wee hours this past Sunday. The victims all survived, and police aim to reassure citizens it's safe to visit the Collar City.
Speaking Thursday, Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia and Police Chief John Tedesco said they believe two of the victims were specifically targeted. There are have been no arrests yet, but Tedesco conceded that criminal activity in the area is tied to two rival gangs. "People that wanna deny that are just denying the public a sense of safety, if you will. You know, these people are not concerned directly with you or I, but when you have the shooting of innocent bystanders, then there's precautions that have to be taken."
Rosamilia says the gang violence will not be tolerated. He's troubled by this year's incident count. "There's already been 17 reported shooting victims in the city of Albany and 10 in the city of Troy. It's crystal clear that the violent crime of a retaliatory nature are escalating."
Tedesco says Troy and Albany police are working together to end the violence. "It's been going on for awhile. A lot of it was concentrated in Albany. Now the factions are becoming mobile, so obviously it's a bigger concern to us. We've been working with Albany for a long time. But the number of players involved in this makes predictability very difficult."
Rosamilia wants to reassure business-owners and citizens. "In order to assure our current families and businesses, as well as visitors, families who are considering putting down roots in Troy, that they will be safe at home here in the city of Troy, we must, and I emphasize we must end this pattern of violence."
Tedesco explained that effective Saturday night, as many police officers that can be dispatched will be on the street, both on foot and in prowl cars. He wouldn't disclose all of the measures that will be deployed, but he noted a field intelligence unit will be guiding officers to potential hot spots before crime breaks out. "I guarantee you that if there is another shooting or something that erupts in violence, we are going to have ample officers to react to that very aggressively and very expeditiously. I'm also happy to announce here today that the city, we just received noticed from the state of New York, that our GIVE application has funding to fight gun violence specifically. There will be money for overtime, intelligence measures, investigators. So that will certainly support the efforts we're putting forth here on Saturday night."
The GIVE initiative — Gun Involved Violence Elimination - is giving Troy PD $300,000 to support those efforts.