ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The union representing police officers in the state is revealing moral issues plaguing the UAlbany campus police.
This past Tuesday, the state PBA (Police Benevolent Association) unanimously passed a no-confidence motion regarding the police chief at UAlbany.
UAlbany Police chief, J. Frank Wiley has been working in the SUNY system since 1996 and Deputy Chief Aran Mull has been in the system since 1989.
The union said the department is jeopardizing the public’s safety.
“Why should I have confidence in the school safety or the department that’s going to protect me? How are they going to do their job if the Chief doesn’t even believe in them,”? said incoming freshman, Imani Austin.
For example, they have a policy that prevents officers from making arrests for minor offenses.
“I have never seen policies like this. These are just not best practices in policing,” said Scott Marciszewski of the PBA. “It just appears like there’s so many obstacles placed before them.”
Marciszewski indicated that UAlbany police have created a culture of retaliation, dysfunction and inconsistent policing, which has been going on for years.
Also, in recent months the union had filed a grievance regarding the safety and condition of police vehicles.
They believe in response the department instituted a 25-mile per day cap on the use of patrol vehicles. The union said this prevents officers from properly patrolling campus.
“To me that just seems like they’re prevented from doing their work,” Marciszewski said.
He continued by mentioning that it used to be a progressive and professional department, but it is now losing officers one by one, even to lower paying jobs.
“It was the place to go to be a cop in SUNY and it is not that place anymore,” Marciszewski said.
With this vote, the union hopes the university will change their practices and take the public’s safety into better consideration.
“I think they have to show leadership and look into these issues in the department,” Marciszewski said.
“They definitely should step it up, get it together before school semester starts,” Austin said.
In response to this vote, UAlbany released a statement:
“The safety of our students, faculty and staff has been and will continue to be the top priority for the University Police Department. The university values the hard work and dedication of our officers, and we will continue to meet with them to discuss their concerns.”