ALBANY, GA (WALB) - How safe do you feel in your home or neighborhood? Besides strong locks or security systems, many rely on something as simple as outside lights to help keep criminals away.
One Albany woman says that simple security measure is compromised at her apartment complex. She's afraid and hoping for some changes.
What a difference time can make. "When we first came here, everything was on. Everything was lovely," said Shirley King.
Now it's like night and day for Shirley King. For the past five years, King has called the Broadway Court Apartments home. Over the past several months King has become concerned about safety at night.
"It's dangerous to walk out here at night because you don't know if someone is hiding in the bushes or whatever," said King. Besides hallway lights, some of the safety lights that surround the apartments are no good when the sun goes down.
"Sometimes you're afraid to get out of your car because you don't know who's waiting out here for you," said King. King's concern continues to grow as she hears more stories of crime in the city.
"They had a hostage over there. Somebody got hijacked up there on the hill," said King. She just wants some kind of help. "When we call the office for them to come out and check them, nobody has been," said King.
The property is owned by Community and Economic Development but we learned the Albany Housing Authority recently took over maintenance of the city-owned property in April. King just hopes someone will turn on the lights.
"This is my life," said King, "I'm concerned about my life." Until they come back on at night, it just won't feel like home.
Albany Housing Authority Director Dan McCarthy told us Tuesday night that he was unaware of any lighting problems but he assured us he would look into the issue Wednesday morning.
City leaders do say street lights are a deterrent to crime. If you're having problems with them in your neighborhood, help is a phone call away.
Water, Gas and Light is responsible for maintaining the bulbs in most street lamps throughout the city. But WG&-L says they only know about problems if they're reported by residents, city commissioners or police.
They invite anyone to call to report problems and they'll get out to fix them as soon as possible.
"It just depends because there are many types of bulbs and depending on what we have available and what goes back in that particular head, but certainly we do it is as quickly as we possibly can," said WG&L Assistant General Manager Lorie Farkas.
You should also look out for lights burning in the daytime. That's a sign that the light may be about to burn out. You can report that early.
On rare occasions, criminals or vandals shoot out the lights in neighborhoods. Lorie Farkas says a good neighborhood watch program can help curb those problems.
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