APD Major says Albany is safe - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

APD Major says Albany is safe

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November 21, 2006

Albany -- The Monday AM bank robbery that still isn't solved unnerved some city commissioners. First thing Tuesday, they questioned police about the city's safety. But a top cop says in spite of higher crime and fewer officers on the streets, Albany is safe.

Aggravated assault, a carjacking, even a bank robbery. Crimes you may expect in a large city? But Albany, all within a week?

"We're a very safe city," said Albany Police Major Bobby Hooper. "Like I made reference to, you look at any of the newspapers in Georgia, and they have as much or more crime going on than what we do. Our city is very, very safe."

But very bad crimes have made city commissioners uneasy. Major Bobby Hooper tried to put those fears to rest.  "Albany is very safe. We're getting our numbers back up on patrol so we do have more officers on the street."

More officers out, because more officers have been added on to the force. Twenty new recruits were just hired and will start the police academy in January, reducing the amount of vacancies from about 40 to only 15.

"Our numbers are up dramatically from what they were this time last year, so we're able to have more officers out there on the street." Good news, because they'll be needed. More criminals will be hitting the streets as well. 

"Crime traditionally takes an upward spike at this time of year. Robberies, thefts, because of the holiday season." And remember, even with a full staff, APD can't place an officer on every corner, so they're asking for your help.

"Any situation, be it information about a bank robbery, or loud music, or no matter what the problem is, pick up the phone and call police," Hooper said. Because the more people there are fighting crime, the safer this city will be.  

Major Hooper says neighborhood watch groups have also helped deter crime in Albany, and encourages areas without an established program to contact APD to find out how to start one.

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