East Albany citizens hope to reduce crime - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

East Albany citizens hope to reduce crime

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July 25, 2006

Albany-- Law enforcers and civilians promised to pull together to fight crime. People in some east Albany neighborhoods say crime is on the rise and they're scared. Police say they need the people's help to stop crime.      

Lillie Wilson sees plenty from her home in the Lakewood area.  Today, she came face to nose with a deer.

"I really didn't think I'd see a baby deer. No way," says Wilson. A big surprise that actually brought her outside, a place she rarely ventures.

"I stay locked up in the house because crime is so bad and you know they get old people, so I stay locked up," says Wilson. She stays locked up but she's concerned and ready for a sense of security in her East Albany neighborhood.

"I think they should stop crime," says Wilson. The mood is the same over on Hobson Street.  Harold Williams is ready for action.  He says crime is on the rise in the neighborhood he's lived in for nearly 30 years.

"When we first moved over here. There was no problem in the neighborhood. We didn't have theft hardly," says Williams. But now, thieves stole the chairs from his porch not once but twice.  Enough for him to start a neighborhood watch.

"Hopefully the neighbors will come in and start meeting with us to make a difference," says Williams. And that's the type of empowerment that Albany Police wants to see from citizens.  They've organized a community policing program to deal with burglaries, drugs and auto thefts in East Albany.

"It's bad. We have a lot of burglaries and entering autos over here on the East side," says Captain Mack Green of Albany Police.

Captain Green of the Albany Police Department says the only way to stop it is to get input from residents and find a solution.

"We can't do it by ourselves. We've got to have some help from the community," says Green. Good news to those who live in those areas.  They're ready to crack down on some crime.

"The police can be here but it's going to take the neighbors. It's going to take me watching my neighbor's house and my neighbor watching my home," says Williams.

"It needs to stop. Crime needs to stop because it's too bad," says Wilson.

With teamwork of law enforcement and law-abiding citizens, the trip outside may not have to be a force of nature, but a willing and safer one.  

Many people weren't present at tonight's meeting. Law enforcement wants to get the word out by passing out flyers to get more citizens involved in reducing crime.   Albany Police also urges anyone who sees crime to report it. You don't have to give your name.

There will be another Community Policing Empowerment meeting next month at the East Albany Law Enforcement Center.

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