continued Since property crimes or burglaries are most common in town, Heider said finding solutions is imperative.
“A criminal is very mobile today, they can be in Albany one minute and the Town of Colonie the next,” said Heider. “We’ve asked merchants to get together to talk about trends, talk about the bad guys that are traversing the town.”
The police department also “made about 118,000 new friends” in 2011 through traffic tickets and continued to address the issue of drugs.
“We are one of the few agencies that still does the DARE program. We know the DARE program is not the do all end all to solve drug problems but we have four officers who get into every school in our community and they meet every child,” said Heider.
With more than 10,000 students in Colonie, Heider said that small interaction can be a big first step.
“They’re a very viable part of our population,” said Heider.
The town used to rank No. 1 and boast the title of “Safest Town in America,” but now it sits at No. 7. Heider said that’s not cause for alarm.
“People think our crime is way up but in actuality our crime was down in 2011 about 5 percent,” said Heider, adding that out of about 80,000 calls a year, only about 50 are considered violent crimes. “That follows a national trend we’re proud to be a part of.”
Colonie’s next generation
Keeping with the morning’s theme of working together, the superintendents of the North and South Colonie school districts took a moment to share some of their joint efforts.
“School districts are part of the bigger global, national and state so we have to react locally,” said Joe Corr, North Colonie superintendent. “Our job is a very important one and that important job is to go out and prepare students to live, work and thrive in this global economy.”