Here’s a recent e-mail exchange that I had with an Albany police officer who truly cares about his or her community. What’s different than this just being an anonymous letter is that I have multipe PD sources telling me face to face (not anonymously, but under the condition of anonymity) that it’s all true. What’s also different — and reaches the threshhold of being newsworthy — is that this is a public record; it was sent to Mayor Willie Adams and the city commissioners. Note that Adams and his colleagues, who are ultimately responsibile for this taxpayer-financed behavior, has done nothing about its problem employee.
Subject: Albany Police Department Infor
From: Dont Need to Know
Date: Tue, Feb 17, 2009 12:56 am
WARNING THIS EMAIL IS LONG AND FULL OF VERY VITAL INFORMATION! PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ IT IN ITS ENTIRETY!
I recently ran across the article about the APD officer and the restraining order on the WFXL website. Upon opening it up, I was truly shocked! A restraining order for a police officer. Well I do not think the complete story has been told. I am sure the Albany Police Department is stating that an active investigation is being conducted; therefore, they cannot give any information…WELL
Ms.. Phyllis Banks was in a relationship with a married Mr.. Richard Williams. Mr. Williams was once approached by the then Chief of Police James Younger, J.D., as he likes to have it written, to stay away from Ms. Banks. Well that part of the story by Fox was correct, however, they left out the part about Ms. Banks is dating (and was dating while he was employed with the Albany Police Department) Chief James Younger!
Now I don’t have the full details about how that night went, but it is being reported that Richard Williams was called by Ms. Banks to come see her, however, prior to Richard’s arrival James Younger had “popped” up. Because they were trying to keep confusion down, James Younger advised Ms. Banks to handle that! Well I guess she did! She called the police.
Now do not get me wrong if a woman says she does not want you then that’s fine! However, to ridicule a male because he is being given mixed signals just is not right! Now throughout the entire time Chief Younger was at the police department, he was eagered to fire or even suspend an officer for anything dealing with sexual conduct towards someone else, when in fact he was doing it himself!
It was even often stated by Ms. Banks to other “male” officers…Chief Younger does not like anyone in my office. Now why in the world would Chief Younger be upset about an officer being in the Public Relations Manager’s of the Albany Police Department office?
AND…it is mighty funny that Ms. Banks sends out an “Press Release” on everyone else’s problems and mishaps at the police department, but did any of you receive this one? I am sure not! Based on Miranda’s VERY SHORT article on the website, this information came from DCP.
Now I am sure that members of the police department appreciate not being blasted in the news yet again; however, sometimes the FULL story needs to be aired so that the citizens of Albany realize that everything has TWO even sometimes THREE sides to a story! (1-suspect 2-victim and sometimes 3-truth) This time it might not have been all wrong by Officer Williams!
Oh now let us talk about some more juicy stuff the department has going on!
In Internal Affairs (Professional Standards) there are two investigators investigating other officers of “unethical” activities…..HOWEVER, in the short times that both have been there, they too have been investigated!
Now don’t get me wrong, God changes everyone, and everyone deserves a second chance, BUT do you think it is a good idea for him or her to investigate other fellow officers when in fact things have gone wrong in their lives?
Cpl. Monica Williams: She was under investigation about a “love triangle” with a now-under investigation and married Cpl. D. Stokes and her then live-in boyfriend Cpl. B. Covington. It was to a point where, Cpl. Covington had to be moved from off the streets from the two of them and eventually left the department. (However, he is yet back!) It is now said that Cpl. Williams is in a heated relationship with Sgt. Michael Cunningham!
Sgt. Duwayne Higginbotham: Now this is truly a funny character. Sgt. Higginbotham left the police department years ago to only return (gone for over 2 years) in 2006 as a Patrol Officer. While still on probation (less than a year of his rehire), then Ptl. Higginbotham was under investigation for “use of force” pulling his duty weapon out on someone. Ptl. Higginbotham was training a female officer, whom too was under investigation for the same offense. Ptl. Higginbotham was transferred, while still under investigation, to the training department to train other officers, while the female officer was required to remain in Support Services while the investigation took place. Ptl. Higginbotham was originally given a 10-day suspension; however, it was reduced to 5, not because he was right in what he did, but because he had vast knowledge that was helpful for the department per Chief Younger. You ask what happened to the female police officer, she was pressured into quitting because they were going to suspend her based on what she was being trained by Ptl. Higginbotham to do. She now works for Lee County ‘s Sheriff’s department. Ptl. Higginbotham then approximately less than or right at a year of employment (which was against the then written SOP) around May 2007 was allowed to go through the Corporal Promotion Assessment. After realizing that he made a mistake, Chief Younger then disseminated addendum to the policy stating persons with prior police experience and one year at the department could apply! That was to ensure that Ptl. Higginbotham could participate in the Corporal Assessment. Ptl. Higginbotham was then promoted to Cpl. Higginbotham. In May 2008, again right a year later, Cpl. Higginbotham was able to go the Sergeant’s Assessment and then was promoted to Sergeant again!
Sgt. Graham Stacey: Sgt. Graham Stacey was promoted to Sergeant around early 2007. While still on his one year-probation, Chief Younger DEMOTED Sgt. Stacey due to his non-abilities to perform as a Sergeant. Not less than 6 months of his DEMOTION, Chief Younger allowed then Cpl. Graham Stacey to go through the Sergeant Assessment in 2008 and RE-PROMOTED him! Why you asked, because he was able to pass a PT test! That is right! Chief James Younger promoted 8-officers based mainly on whether or not they could pass a non-documented, not in the Albany Police Department’s Standard Operating Procedures manual, none certified instructed or tested, PT Test!
To top it all off, there were a few officers that DID pass the PT test and passed the assessment; however, were looked over because Chief Younger stated, “he was not aware that the officers had passed the PT”! One, Sgt. Dale Henry was even promoted after not passing all the attempts performed with the group; however, weeks later passed during a private PT testing with Acting Lt. Bryan LaVoie.
Several officers, some with over 5 years of experience with the Albany Police Department, went through the Sergeant’s Assessment and PER CHIEF YOUNGER, finished in the top 3-5% of the applicants; however, because they were unable to pass a PT test, they were not promoted. Nevertheless, he saw it fit to promote an officer whom he demoted for not working in Sergeant capacity and LACK of skills! How many Sergeants are on the streets running behind a criminal??????? NOT MANY!
When the Sergeant’s Assessment was in progress, the applicants were advised they would receive a written evaluation of their results from the assessment. On Friday, December 19, 2008 starting around 0800 hours, Chief Younger had scheduled the Corporals that had gone through the Sergeant’s assessment to his office. Chief Younger sat at the head of his conference room table, held up a piece of paper and told the officers how they did. When asked if they would receive that information in the form of a written letter, they were given no response! Of those that had not passed the PT test and were told they finished the assessment in the top 3-5% of the applicants, were told the ONLY reason they were not promoted was because of the PT test!?!
Once the Chief was gone, those Corporals asked for a copy or a list of those left on the list for promotion to Sergeant, the Administrative Office (Chief’s Office) stated they were unaware of such a list! Therefore, those officers that so-called passed the assessment are not even on a list for possible promotion in the future.
A Sergeant should be promoted based on his/her abilities to do the job, not whether or not they can run a mile in a particular amount of time, does a sit-up or a push up! Who would you rather on your scene and working or assisting on your case, a Sergeant who can run a mile, do sit-ups and push ups and can’t make a sound decision on their own, or a decision making Sergeant with years of experience and cares about ensuring your case is conducted in a legal and respectful manner?! You be the judge!
Speaking of PT Test, has anyone investigated within the police department, how many officers have been injured while trying to pass the what was called “REQUIRED TO GET OFF PROBATION, REQUIRED TO GET PROMOTED, REQUIRED TO TRANSFER, REQUIRED TO GET HIRED” PT test???? Well you have one young lady, (her name I will keep under wraps, but I am sure if you do some digging you will find out easily) dang near DIED! This young lady, I can’t call her an officer because she never had the opportunity to make it to the academy, was pushed and pushed, even after telling Officer Greg Elder, Officer Bryan LaVoie, and Chief Younger during a “Chief’s challenge” that she didn’t feel good, PAST OUT! She was taken to the hospital where she was later told, approximately 5 days later, that her body just SHUT DOWN!!!!! Now even after about 1year or so, she still is not right! This young lady was once told she would be let go because her doctors told her would not be a 100%, therefore, could not operate as a police officer! Now how nasty is that! Moreover, was stated by Greg Elder was that “they broke another one down”!
Sgt. Edward Heath, whom has been with the department for over 20 years, was required to go and do the PT test. During which he too was pushed. Sgt. Heath was focused on passing or else, damaged his knee to the point he had to have surgery! He too will not be a 100% again.
Some officers were even threaten of being FIRED if they didn’t pass!
Now do not get me wrong, we are in the days and times where everyone needs to be healthy, but I think this department is pushing it!
Some officers are even stuck in their current ranks forever because they have “medical conditions” that eliminates them from doing such activities as a lot of running or sit-ups or even push-ups! Therefore, if they cannot take the PT they cannot be promoted! Whereas some get fake medical excuses so they don’t have to take it! Not every position within the police department requires running, sit-ups or push-ups! Some will never be promoted because they just cannot make it within the time frame the department “so-call” requires! Not that the officers are not trying. Some are even improving every 30 days they are required to take it until they pass. If I am not mistaken, everyone has an area where they are strong and an area where they are weaker in! Remember no one is perfect! Some officers are not good runners or not good at doing sit-ups or not good at push-ups! Nevertheless, do running, push-ups and sit-ups really make a good police? What about the 50% of the department that had never been required to take such a test before now are they not good officers? Answer this would you rather have an officer that can pass the PT test but can’t make a decision or write a good incident report or would you rather have an officer that can make decisions, write reports, that are trying to live a more healthy lifestyle?!
Oh and if it is good for the Patrolmen, Corporals, and Sergeants then why were the Lieutenants, Captains, and higher not required to do it? They too are police officers as all of those below them are! They too place their lives in danger as those below them do! Is it because their jobs do not require them to be in the forefront? Well neither does an investigator, or a forensic officer or an officer in Support Service or Internal Affairs…That test was set up to hurt more than to help!
None of the officers were asked or even told to go see a doctor or sent to one to check their capabilities prior to taking such a test nor were EMTs on site when the PT tests were given.. The department sends two rude, disrespectful, bashing officers (Acting Lt. Bryan LaVoie and Sgt. Greg Elder) out to give a PT test that may affect your career as an officer and have not attempted to train anyone. For those two to get out there and tell you “I want to see you throw up”! or “I ain’t gonna count that you can do that all day it wont count!” WOW, that is encouraging!
Half of the department has been with the APD well over 5 years. It does not take one year to get weight on (or out of shape) nor will it take one to get it off! The Albany Police Department has hurt many officers more than they have helped!
Can you say the police department and the City of Albany are setting themselves up for a hefty lawsuit! CHACHING!
$$$$ SHOW ME THE MONEY! $$$$$$$
Commanders! Well here is something else that the police department has yet hurt themselves.
The positions of Commanders (which were never placed on an internal employment posting) were appointed to three newly promoted Lieutenants; however, was never opened up to any of the other Lieutenants. The commander position was not even in the SOP’s organizational chart.
Commander Kendra Wilson, (who was promoted to Lieutenant in 2007, never completed her Lt. probationary period, never completed a PT test to get off of probation and never ran a district prior to her appointment; was promoted to Commander within approximately 6 months!
Commander Darin Abner, whom has been reported of having domestic violence issues with once lover Cpl. Iesha Mullins in Lee County and his wife Catina Abner where the police were called to Mullins house because Catina Abner was at Mullins’ house harassing her about Darin, was promoted to Lieutenant in 2007 and it was alleged he too never passed his PT test and never ran a district; was promoted to Commander!
The problem is none of the “seasoned” Lieutenants, whom had ran the districts within the Albany Police Department and had been in the Lieutenant rank well over a year, were given the opportunity to even apply or at least put their names in the basket to be picked! Oh did I tell you that the position of a Commander is said to be HIGHER in rank than a Captain!
On top of that, Chief Younger placed several Sergeants in “Acting Lieutenants” positions when he still had two left on the promotable Lieutenants list. This list consisted of Sergeants whom had already gone through the Lieutenants assessment and passed and were deemed promotable. Per the Albany Police Department’s SOP, the list is active until ALL have been promoted or removed! However, two remain.. More than two Sergeants were appointed to Acting Lieutenant positions and they had not gone through the Lieutenants assessment yet…WHY?
What’s wrong with that picture?!
Can you say the police department and the City of Albany are setting themselves up for a hefty lawsuit! CHACHING!
$$$$ SHOW ME THE MONEY! $$$$$$$
Now whom should we point fingers at?
Well at first, we could have pointed them at Chief Younger, but because he had the attitude that I am the Chief and I can do whatever I want, he has yet been released!
We now can look at City Manager, Alfred Lott! Why you ask? Because he allowed this activity to go on! He allowed Younger to do what he wanted to do while he sat back and secured his contract for a couple more years and then what did Lott do once his job was secured…………he BOOTED Younger right out the door! That did not seem fishy to anyone???!!!
OK! Now we can look onto the City Mayor and Commissioners if they do not require that the incidents that have been provided are not investigated and really corrected!
The moral in the Albany Police Department is down because the officers that really do the work are NEVER rightfully recognized, rewarded and/or promoted, as they should be….based on their knowledge, skills, and ability to perform! Whereas some officers, kiss butts, get in to the “right” group and are slide right into promotions! Some people in the police department are taking on duties that would be easily appreciated and rewarded in other agencies; however, because they love their work, enjoy being useful to the department, and try to be dedicated to the Albany Police Department just continue to work even without a simply THANKS or YOU ARE DOING A GOOD JOB! That is why the moral is down, that is why officers are leaving left and right! It has nothing to do with pay, nor benefits, or anything else to that matter. Officers are being treated like they are not appreciated by senior persons whom really don’t have a clue as what they are “suppose” to be doing, yet because they have this rank or that rank they feel the younger offices have to bow down to them! It has often been said to officers by those of higher ranks (Lt. and above) “I run this, this is my unit, my department, my section, or my division and if you don’t like it I can get you out of here!”
What kind of mess is that to tell an officer who works for you?
Take a moment and look at what is being done, officers are getting trained through POST, becoming certified, work a while and then leave all on the expense of the City of Albany and the Albany Police Department! Long time veterans leave without even being able to retire just ready to leave and go somewhere they can be appreciated! Knowledge and Experience just gone out the window! You have civilian workers leaving and not even training anyone prior to departure. Department left without a clue! Why?! Because they are not being appreciated! Check those with all of the experience, training, knowledge of almost every division within the department, skills to do over and beyond their “assigned” duties, who and where are they? They are under paid, low-ranked persons AT THE BOTTOM! Why because they do not kiss butts or because the older more ranked officers are scared that the younger officers will out shine them so they talk bad about then and continue to hold them down!
Ask a captain to run a report and turn it in to you…..it will get done at the expense of either his secretary or a highly skilled and experienced “lower ranked” officer that he “delegates” his work to. Upon your request for it, who turns it in and gets the glory, the Captain! Ask him about what is in the report and he will probably look at you crazy because he has no clue!
Check for yourself!
I hope and pray that the news reporters do your research, print this information for the citizens to see how the officers of the Albany Police Department are really being treated! The City Commissioners, the City Mayor, and the City Manager I pray you take this email FOR REAL! You have been provided some VITAL information that had not been previously given to you! However, as a citizen of this city and a member of the law enforcement career, I felt as though you really needed to hear the truth and hear it now! What you do with it is on you!
Please don’t let the fact that this is being sent anonymously lead you to feel the information is not correct or that I am a disgruntle employee, because it is quite the opposite! I wanted you to hear the truth without being scrutinized, isolated and even “BLACK BALLED” by those of the Albany Police Department! And before you can get it out; there is nothing that you all can do to protect that from happening! So please take the information you have been given and do your own research that way you can see for yourself! No one is just going to get on TV and tell you all of this or come face to face in fear of what will happen to them or their jobs!
As I close my extremely long letter, I first say thanks for taking the time out to read it all and then secondly in the words of Sam Cooke:
It has been a long time coming for APD, and a change has got to come!
Here’s my reply
Subject: RE: Albany Police Department Infor
Date: Tue, February 17, 2009 7:07 pm
To: “Dont Need to Know”
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Thanks very much for writing. I am aware of most of this information to be fact, but because the police chief and city manager are so adept at breaking the law and tenets of good government and not documenting goings-on at city hall, I’ve elected not to report on it.
As you know, the City Commission knows what and who they have running things, but thus far has opted not to do the right thing and fix the problems. So, we’re kind of stuck, aren’t we?
Please continue to care enough to keep in touch about what’s going on there — and do make sure you me know when there’s documentation of the shenanigans. Remember, unlike what the current city manager says, there’s no such thing as a “mole” at city hall. That’s because what happens at city hall is the people’s business.
And thanks very, very much for your service.