City leaders speak on crime during holiday season

Town Hall on crime & holiday safety

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Albany Police Chief said now that the holiday season is here, he wants folks to stay vigilant and safe all season long.

WALB attended a Town Hall meeting where the Chief spoke on safety awareness and possible solutions.

Chief Michael Persley said it’s important to be aware of your surroundings during this season, but he also said it’s vital for every resident to do their part in keeping this community safe as well.

“I’m very concerned about my community,” said Tracy Taylor, resident.

Tracy Taylor said after his friend Meesha Patel lost her life just last weekend at Devi’s Convenience Store, it’s still taking a toll on he and his family.

“It’s a tragedy in the community and it struck a cord to me and my family and I really really want to stay active,” said Taylor.

At a town hall meeting held in East Albany, Chief Persley with the Albany Police Department said it’s that time of year where more crimes are being committed at stores, homes, and businesses.

“People are looking for quick hits. Retail stores, your Dollar General, Family Dollar type. Convenient Stores,” said Chief Michael Persley, Albany Police Department.

That’s why Chief Persley is doing everything possible to educate residents on safety awareness and safety solutions.

“I’ve been at the Police Department 25 years, that is an automatic plan every year,” said Chief Persley.

Chief Persley said between the end of September to early February they try to put more officers at places criminals target.

“We base our operations on what places historically we know are parts to be targeted,” said Chief Persley.

The Chief said the number of committed crimes reported have gone down this year, but the City is still seeing an increase in violent crimes.

Residents said they feel the police force is doing what they can, but say more officers are still needed.

“We need more manpower in the City because our resources is spreading thin and we need more boots on the ground,” said Taylor.

“I need y’all to help me recruit people to be police officers,” said Chief Persley.

He said overall, folks should not only stay vigilant during this season, but do their part too.

“I see the need for partnership between the police department and the community,” said Delinda Bryant, resident.

Chief Persley said residents can also help by not only reporting what you see, but be descriptive as possible when reporting a criminal act.

He said this will help them find the solution or bring justice more quickly.

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