Albany leaders plan to light up the streets -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany leaders plan to light up the streets

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  There's a reason criminals strike in the night. They don't want anyone to see them in action. That's why Albany city leaders plan to light up the streets.

They are installing new lights polls in high crime areas in hopes of deterring crime.

Thousand of crimes have taken place in Albany this year. Many of them take at night, in the dark, in secret, but leaders want to put a spotlight on high crime areas in order to cut down on crime. 

Riverfront Park is a place for long walks and family gatherings. The park hasn't attracted too many criminals, and Albany Police Chief John Proctor hopes to keep it that way.

"That's one of the things I'm hoping to prevent an incident from occurring and I think there is a great need for this," the Chief said.

So more lights will be installed here to protect the people here and hopefully to deter criminals from showing up.

A man was murdered on Alice Avenue just last month. This area, near the corner of Alice and South Madison is another place city leaders want to shed light.

"We look at both crime prevention and crime deterrents. We think that having more lighting certainly will dissuade people from congregating and make is appear so that when officers come to an area, they can see it real well."

Commissioner Morris Gurr has been pushing for better lighting in high crime areas for the past six months. "Actually, it started with a phone call I received from an individuals about alley lighting, dark areas, needing more alley light," Gurr said.

He's hoping better lighting in his ward near Gillespie Park, often troubled with gang activity, will not only keep criminal activity out, but make the people who live here feel safe.

"Decrease the crime and hopefully next year, maybe another report comes out, how has this worked? Do we have other hot spots we need to look at?"

Putting crime in the spotlight, in order to turn crime out. The new lighting will cost the city about $35,000 for installation. They will also have to pay ongoing consumption charges.

Albany Police will also alert Water, Gas and Light and let them know anytime they see a street light that has burned out in order to get as many street lights burning at night as possible.

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