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ALERT Partnership, Inc.

Albany Law Enforcement Resolution Team


Informing and Engaging the Community

and Law Enforcement

Founded in 2015, ALERT is established to build greater understanding, greater trust, and greater respect within the community and law enforcement first responders.


Our goal is to engage these entities on various levels. The events that are held throughout the year help to build a multi-ethnic, and trans-generational bridge between these groups. These events help to heal the damage we are experiencing between law enforcement and the residents of our city.


To build stronger, safer, and more peaceful communities, we must change the negative hearts, minds, and attitudes that law enforcement professionals, community leaders, and residents, have about each other.


We do this by providing a platform for healthy conversation with law enforcement throughout the year. This dialogue promotes greater trust and understanding between both entities. 


We help reconcile these entities are through:

  • Community Leader and Law Enforcement Summits

  • Unite The City Carnival events for the entire family

  • Albany Sports Challenge events for youth and young adults

  • Improving Your Quality of Life events for all residents

  • Albany Bridge Builder’s Awards Ceremony

U of Albany, School of Criminal Justice and EOP Program Students

Community engagement / Law Enforcement Hiring Seminar at FBI Headquarters Albany, NY


Since our initial meeting in 2015 with the Albany County Sheriff in attendance, we have expanded.


We are now in partnership with: Albany Police Department; University at Albany Police; Albany County Sheriff’s Office; Albany County District Attorney; Albany Fire Department; Cohoes Police Department; Colonie Police Department; NY State Police; NY Attorney General’s Office; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of NY; the Drug Enforcement Administration; Wage and Hour Division of the US Dept of Labor; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Public Safety.


Around the nation, relationships between law enforcement agencies and many of our underserved communities have been strained because of the careless actions of a small percentage of officers.


This behavior resulted in physical and emotional harm and sometimes death to mostly People of Color. As a result, these actions have damaged relationships.


When criminal actions are evident and there’s a lack of indictment and conviction of those officers, in retaliation some citizens have taken the law into their own hands. We want to avert this in Albany.


ALERT is in place to calm heightened tension by educating and uniting communities and law enforcement, encouraging partnerships. We understand that to be effective in creating a harmonious space, the relationships must be cultivated during times of seeming peace.


The Necessity of ALERT

In December 2014 after the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, MO, President Barack Obama created a Task Force on 21st Century Policing by an executive order.


The six pillars of President, Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing are:

  • Building Trust and Legitimacy

  • Policy and Oversight

  • Technology and Social Media

  • Community Policing and Crime Reduction

  • Mutual Training and Education

  • Police officer and agent Wellness and Safety


On a smaller scale, ALERT Partnership’s undertaking reflects two of the pillars: Building Trust and Legitimacy and Community Policing and Crime Reduction.


ALERT is a 501©3 nonprofit with a governing board that consists of: Pastor David Traynham, Anthony Capece, Adam Zaranko, Derek Martin, Paul Collins-Hackett, and Daniel Dagostino.


The ALERT Task Force is made up of people who assist our vision with resources, ideas, and support. The ALERT Task Force gives direction and helps to implement our programs and outreach.  


ALERT does not “speak” for the communities that make up our region. There’s no one voice that can capture the issues that affect all communities. We provide a platform for those communities to do so with law enforcement.


Our desire is to bring understanding to the concerned parties. When needed we will stand for justice as a mediator between those who have taken the oath to “Protect and Serve” the residents, and the communities to whom they made this pledge.


Businesses, community organizations and our city thrive when people are more engaged. When all entities flourish, the city becomes stronger, more live-able, and healthier. It becomes a place where all people, from all backgrounds want to live and raise their families.


Because we serve a diverse region, we encourage our Task Force members to hold to our agenda and not allow personal opinion, biases, or unbridled passion, to circumvent the community gatherings that we host.


We are focused and guard against taking on initiatives that are not aligned with our mission of reconciliation that makes our communities stronger.


The policies, procedures, and laws that govern our land are in place to protect us as citizens and our law enforcement officials.


When the code of law is broken by the color of law, implicit or explicit biases, or having disregard for the laws that protect our citizens, there should be consequences.


It is not the responsibility of ALERT to be judge and jury for the law breakers, whether law enforcement or residents of our region. However, we know that if a platform for dialogue is in place, the likelihood of justice being served is increased.


If trust is going to be advanced and peace is going to prevail, our communities must have a system that is balanced and that they can trust in. If they cannot trust the system, they will never trust those who uphold what they feel is broken to begin with.


Engaging the community

Improving Your Quality of Life


We believe our communities face injustice when current law is biased in favor of law enforcement. These biases must be identified and changed. To foster lasting change, we must go through proper channels to ensure that our city remains at peace.


Any instances of injustice that favors law enforcement must be challenged in a court of law. We must utilize the judicial system to foster our desired change.


One instance that tested the resolve of ALERT and the heart of the residents of Albany was the unfortunate death of Donte’ Ivy in 2015. ALERT organized numerous meetings with community, political, and religious leaders, as well as federal and local law enforcement entities.

We assured the community that we were holding the Albany Police Department accountable, ensuring that the officers in question performed their duties within the confines of policy and law.


Law Enforcement Participation


The relationship between ALERT and law enforcement is built on collaboration and independent partnership. With mutual the objective of creating a peaceful and strong region, we assist law enforcement with their goals by bringing them together with the communities they serve.


ALERT identifies issues that “a” community faces and connects them with the law enforcement agency that can best address their concerns.


We encourage:

  1. Continued positive law enforcement and community collaboration with a focus on transparency

  2. Direct discussion about any controversy involving the police

  3. The assignment of command-level officers to serve as a liaison

  4. Assistance in developing on-going outreach opportunities

  5. Career opportunities in law enforcement for the People of Color and underserved populations


ALERT Representation


ALERT Partnership are advocates of resolution and do not participate in aggressive, divisive, intimidating, and hostile confrontations.


Representing their specific communities, the ALERT Task Force is comprised of people from the religious community, social and political advocates, and community leaders.


The ALERT Task Force have a heart to see lasting change. They work well with other professionals and have justice, mercy, and truth, as a central component of their character.


They are encouraged to exercise patience and gain understanding of the long-term benefits of the mission in front of us.

Community and law enforcement engagement

Youth and Young adult Populations


We focus on the youth and young adult population by partnering with other community youth organizations. This ensures that interaction with law enforcement begins at an early age. It encourages a positive perception of law enforcement and builds relationships that will lead to a stronger city.


We have collaborated with schools in the Albany City School District to develop engagement opportunities for their students with law enforcement. Over time, this will prove to be the single most effective component in addressing racial disparity in law enforcement hiring.


Informing and engaging the community with law enforcement improves public health, public safety, and improves relations.                                         

This approach gives law enforcement direct access to youth in communities they serve who are already in programs that promote the well-being of our region.


Utilizing existing organizations:

  1. Improves public safety through collaboration and information sharing to prevent and combat crime

  2. Dramatically increases community engagement while decreasing bias and hostility towards police

  3. Proactively creates a direct link between law enforcement administrators and community leaders.  This averts violent and divisive public responses to police-involved incidents while giving voice to public concerns around policing

  4. Build partnerships with mutual understandings, and provides an avenue for residents to assist law enforcement efforts

  5. Change perceived adversaries into allies for social change across racial, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, professional, and political lines.


No one entity has the solution to the issues that plague our communities. However, together we can strengthen the much-needed bond between both and break down the wall of distrust that has been built.


ALERT has embraced the opportunity to unite with various police agencies. Law enforcement should not have to address crime and violence alone.


The Need to Expand


ALERT is a proactive organization that remains focused even amidst community unrest. Expanding our mission allows us to develop greater community and social media presence; create solution-based programs, and advocate for the rights of both the community and law enforcement.


These are needed if we are going to have a healthy society where every person is safe, including those who have promised to protect and serve our city, region, and nation


We are committed to investing time, staffing, and resources, to engage in cooperative dialogue.


Expanding our reach and accomplishing our goals requires greater resources. As we build greater capacity, we broaden our influence and become a stronger voice of reason in our region.


We  continually seek partnerships with political, religious, educational, community organizations, businesses and individuals who see the importance of our mission and the long-range benefits of these associations.


Funding is needed to support personnel costs, expand our media presence, develop, and sustain a software platform.


It is also needed to help facilitate the Community Leadership and Law Enforcement Summit held each year. Our Unite The City and Albany Sports Challenge events that bring youth and families together in a spirit of harmony.


Effectiveness of ALERT


Surveys establish a starting point in measuring progress, highlight areas of concern, and provide talking points to engage the community and police in addressing these concerns.


As important as survey’s are, it is valuable to know the perception of Albany Police Chief, Eric Hawkins statement that, “The impact that ALERT has on overall relationships in the city cannot be measured in a poll.”


This is because with each person we inspire, they in turn have the potential to inspire others with the same motivation that they experienced.


We will continue to gauge the community’s perception of and their satisfaction with policing activity in their area. However, police oversight is often better served with other community advocacy groups as we remain an entity that serves to engage law enforcement and the community.  




Pastor David is currently the program director. He serves as facilitator of the program, is the main presenter at all functions, and the main organizer for our events.


He will develop other programs to assist the community and law enforcement including:

  • A program to strategically address the disparity in racial hiring within each agency where appropriate

  • Schedule tours of law enforcement facilities

  • Collaborate with law enforcement to plan and implement pro-active crime prevention initiatives

  • Oversee the ALERT youth and young adult program, encouraging their participation in every aspect of the ALERT initiative

  • Seek fund raising opportunities to build greater capacity


ALERT staff is responsible for organizing all events. This includes securing meeting sites, creating promotional material, distributing invitations, coordinating travel, and ensuring that all supplies and equipment are available to all presenters and participants. This is currently done by the ALERT Task Force.


Long Term Goal


Beyond unifying law enforcement and the communities they serve, is a greater goal of uniting a fragmented city.


Through greater city-wide collaboration, we bring the city of Albany together to demolish the invisible wall that separates the underserved who live in the South End, Arbor Hill, Sheridan Hollow and West Hill, from the rest of Albany.


The capitol of New York remains one of the greatest regions in our nation.  It can serve as a model for other regions around the country, signifying what can be accomplished when we work together towards the common goals of peace, equity, liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness for all residents.



A necessity in the 21st Century for building bridges between

the community and law enforcement

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