Beginning in late August, the stopped posting its bulletin reports online. The reason, said Police Chief Mike McQuiston, is that the department no longer has the staffing available to handle the task at this time.
We asked for more information in August, and here's what McQuiston said:
Police will be retiring this month after nearly 30 years of service with the Albany Police Department. As you already know, Martha performs supervisory and records management duties and serves as a periodic dispatcher back-up. In addition, Martha has been instrumental in bridging existing gaps in our technology and services so that we are able to post our police bulletin (AKA Blotter) on our website. With her imminent departure I have authorized adjustments to temporarily spread some of her workload among the remaining support services staff. In doing so, some of the non-essential duties Martha used to perform will cease. I know that you rely on the bulletin posting to share information on the Albany Patch, so I am taking this opportunity to let you know that with Martha’s departure our staffing in the support services section of the police department has dropped to a level that forces me to choose between meeting our essential public safety mission and performing some of the additional duties of her position.
Without detailing the mechanics, logistics and legal mandates, I hope this helps explain to you why we will no longer be able to provide the bulletin. It is important to me to be able to provide this summary information on police activity to our community, but we simply do not have the staff to support this function at this time. Please feel free to refer your readers to our site on www.crimereports.com for up to date information on select police activity. It doesn’t provide the same information as the bulletin, but it is the best alternative I can offer for the time being. I hope to resume sharing our daily bulletin electronically as soon as possible (and will try to implement a system that provides “block specific” information when we do). Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Albany Patch will continue to make every effort to collect and post . For now, it means a trip to the Police Department, taking photographs of the crime bulletin summaries that are available, converting them to PDF files and summarizing them for our report.
We can also pull very basic information from crimereports.com, as noted above by Chief McQuiston. We'll do our best to post information as it becomes available. See our here.
Because there's no longer a dedicated staffer who's able to handle the bulletin at the Police Department, thus far what's been available has been less frequently updated and, in some cases, incomplete.
Fortunately, the Albany Police Department does tend to be available to answer questions and provide additional information about calls when we request it. We hope to hear more often from our readers when they notice something amiss in their neighborhood and out in the community. That will make requesting timely information about police calls somewhat easier.
In addition to contacting the Police Department (510-525-7300) when you see suspicious activity in the neighborhood, we hope you'll reach out to Albany Patch via email, at email@example.com, and phone, at 510-459-8325.