City leaders proclaim Albany's safety - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City leaders proclaim Albany's safety

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -   Just days after a double murder, Albany's biggest community event, Mardi Gras, will bring thousands of people to downtown this weekend. Community leaders want to assure guests that Albany is a safe city, and they will not have to worry about becoming a crime victim.

There have already been five murders in Albany this year, but city leaders assure people there will be no reason to worry about crime when they come to the Mardi Gras event.

Officials and people who frequent downtown Albany say in fact it's one of the most crime free areas in Southwest Georgia.

Gale and Jim Rodgers enjoy their Friday lunch by the Albany Riverwalk, and will be coming to this weekend's festivities with no crime worries.

 "We've come to every event they've had downtown and we've never seen a problem," Jim Rodgers said.

They were also shocked by the recent double murder, but refuse to live in fear. "If everybody hid inside their home because there was a murder here or there, then what would the city be like. You can't be afraid," Gale Rodgers said.

Albany Police will have extra patrols, many using their ATV's and segways for mobility.

Having extra personnel on hand to patrol the areas downtown to make sure everything is safe," said APD's Phyllis Banks. "

"We are going to beef up the security. We're going to have private security as well as police officers on the streets. The cameras are going to be manned," said City Manager James Taylor.

Albany's Mayor says people can be assured that this weekend's Mardi Gras events will be fun, and safe.

 "If you look at the crime maps, and we do that on a regular basis, downtown is one of the safest places you can be in the city," said Mayor Dr. Willie Adams.

Gale Rodgers says everyone in the Albany area should come to Mardi Gras, to say this community will not let crime take over.

 "If we let a murder or two, which is very sad and hurtful, interfere with our life, then the city will never be anything," Rodgers said.

City leaders say you can come with assurance that extra Police will at all events.

City leaders said they are more worried about the threat of rain Saturday than they are the threat of crime, because there will be a very heavy presence of law enforcement throughout downtown.

Mayor Adams said city leaders know these Mardi Gras events are their chance to showcase Albany to visitors, and they have done everything possible to make people feel comfortable and safe.

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