Some fans fearful of ball game - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Some fans fearful of ball game

September 23, 2005

Albany-- It's a big high school football rivalry, but attendance could be down at tonight's Trojan Bowl between Lee County and Dougherty High Schools. That's because of rumors circulating about gang violence.

The Albany Dougherty County Gang Task force believes rumors of possible gang violence at tonight's Lee County Dougherty High game may have started with e-mails circulating through students at both high schools.

"Someone goes on to e-mail and circulate e-mails that this is gang initiation month and tried to frighten the parents," says Albany City Commissioner Jon Howard.

"We have been getting calls from concerned citizens asking about the information," said Albany Police Lt. Tracy Barnes.

So the city and school police department are taking every precaution The e-mail mentions nothing about the game nor the Albany area. Barnes said, "There's nothing specific in the information that indicates our city."

But it's got the attention of parents questioning their children's safety. "There are going to be people that specialize in spotting these types of situations or people that may be affiliated with gang activity," says Dougherty Co. Schools Security Chief Troy Conley.

Undercover Albany police officers and the sheriff's department along with school resource officers will be out in force, and citizens attending are asked to be proactive.

"Be aware of your surroundings and if you feel a little under confident police will be scattered through the whole stadium to make sure if there's some concern you can always approach a police officer," said Howard.

If you go to the game, you shouldn't bring anything that will stand out or cause alarm. "Just come out tonight and just be prepared for a good hard tough fight football game tonight," said Howard.

The Dougherty High, Lee County game starts at 7:30 at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany.

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