Stop the Violence group cleans up the streets - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Stop the Violence group cleans up the streets

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany group fed up with violent crime is taking their message to the streets. The Stop the Violence group hit the streets Thursday to clean up crime.

Nearly 40 of them spent the morning cleaning up an area of East Broad Avenue that's a known crime hot spot.

Ground zero for the group was where a robbery victim fought back against two men earlier this month and stabbed them to death.  A group called Stop the violence says they've had enough and Thursday came to pick up the area and put some pride back in this community.

Bishop Frederick Williams grew up in East Albany.  He said, "This is my home ground. These streets are where I walked everyday."

But don't ask him to walk these streets at night. They've gotten too dangerous. There's too much violence. Williams knows about it first hand. His sister was murdered in her home. 

"You have a lot of armed robberies," he said, "You have a lot of things that people because there is a lack of jobs, lack of employment, lack of education and instead of people investing in themselves, they have chosen a path to try to take from those that have so it can be real frightening."

Williams heads up the Stop the Violence movement, and Thursday, the group put their boots on the ground, picking up litter. They know the cleanliness of a community, or lack of it, can have an impact on the crime rate.

Angela Hines said,  "So much crime, so much activity with gangs and drugs and I just want it, I want our city to be turned around, our whole city. Not only this community, but the whole city to be turned around going in the right direction."

So they are taking out the trash one piece at a time, and hopeful the people who live and work here will follow their lead.  Williams said, "I would feel real fulfilled that I did not only just sit in my house and complain about what was going on, but that we got out here and tried to make a difference in this community so I think it's real gratifying."

Gratifying to clean up a community and in turn, clean up the crime rate.

The group didn't just clean up for homeowners and business owners, Bishop Williams met with them and asked them to take pride in their communities and clean up the area themselves.

Stop the violence is made up of ministers, law enforcement officers, commissioners and other concerned citizens, but it's open to everyone. If you want to join, they meet every Tuesday morning at 10 at Gethsemane Worship Center on 11th Avenue.

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