Albany leaders want APD to share crime-fighting plan - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany leaders want APD to share crime-fighting plan

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March 23, 2006

Albany - Albany commissioners want to know what police are doing to stop burglaries and other crimes in the city. Commissioners say people, from all parts of the City, are complaining that criminals are running rampant.

Every day in Albany, burglaries, car break-ins and purse snatching are reported. Businesses and homeowners, alike, are being targeted. City commissioners say enough is enough.

Albany Commissioner Jon Howard says he doesn't always feel safe walking the streets of his east Albany ward.

"I think we're having too many of are young people hanging out on the streets and too many of these break-ins," said Howard.

Commissioner Bo Dorough says thieves tried to steal copper wiring from his home air conditioning unit off Magnolia Lane. Commissioners aren't immune to the rising crimes in Albany. And they say their constituents are complaining about home and business burglaries and other crimes.

Dorough said, "People have to believe the City is doing everything it can to make them secure in their homes and businesses."

Commissioners are asking the police chief to give them weekly updates on what the police force is doing to stop crimes and catch the criminals.

"We need to let the community know what the city is doing to address this situation," said Dorough.

Police have already stepped up patrols in problem areas. And they've encouraged people to start neighborhood and business watch groups. Police commanders often meet to talk about their progress and next steps.

Major Bobby Hooper said, "We're looking at the numbers, where the crimes are happening, how many are happening, establishing patterns, identifying the crimes, and then addressing strategies to attack those particular problems."

The city manager says it will take a full police force to combat the growing crime problems. That's why the police chief is focusing on recruiting new officers and filling vacancies. Commissioners plan to discuss increasing public safety salaries during the upcoming budget cycles.

According to Albany Police crime stats, there were more than 1,700 burglaries in the city last year. Only 139, of those cases, were solved.

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