Police and communities unite to fight crime - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Police and communities unite to fight crime

August 1, 2006

Albany--Across the nation tonight, communities joined forces with local law enforcement to fight crime. Millions of people took part in "National Night Out."

From fun games to great food, neighbors in East Albany came together to enjoy both.

"I think it's important that we get together on a case like this right here," says Sammy Hicks.  Like many Albany residents, Hicks says crime happens in communities more often than it should, and he knows that first hand.

"I had my equipment stolen twice from me in March and twice in April," says Hicks.

Officers interacted with many neighbors, who in turn got to voice their concerns to A.P.D.

"I think they should patrol the area a little more than what they do because I think I might see them twice out the week," says Hicks.

"I'm a single parent and I stay by myself, so I need to be very cautious and watch what goes on in the neighboorhood," says Renee Smiley.  She lives in East Albany and says the event has taught her to be more aware of her neighborhood surroundings.

"I've learned to keep an eye out. If you see anybody at windows or doors, people that don't stay there, just keep an eye out," she says.

"It shows the unity between police and the community against crime and drugs," says Albany Police Chief James Younger.  He says it's important for residents and police to work together to fight crime.

"It's going to take a collective effort to maintain the quality of life in the city of Albany," he says.

And while that may not happen instantly, people like Hicks, warn they are stepping up their guard, determined to keep their communities crime free.

"Beware.  Sooner or later, you're going to get caught," says Hicks.

The Albany Police Department and Albany Housing Authority sponsored tonight's event. This is the 23rd year for the National Night Out. Last year, more than 34 million people participated in the event.

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