Albany man demands more Police to fight gangs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany man demands more Police to fight gangs

June 29, 2007

Albany -- An Albany man says he is fed up with gangs and crime in his South Albany neighborhood, and Thursday night told the Police Chief and city commissioners they need to do something about it.

71-year-old George Hawthorne has lived in the same home on West Mercer Avenue for 37 years, and is not going to let gangs run him out. Hawthorne said "I know we got a gang problem here, and we don't want it in this community."

 Just around the corner from his house, gang graffiti glorifying the Southside Crips. Hawthorne says gangs are active. Hawthorne said "last week they had a bunch of them right behind that white house over yonder. Ain't nobody living in that house. They went back there and called it initiation, or something. Week before they did the same thing."
Hawthorne says he is also concerned by dog fighting in his neighborhood, and speeders flying up and down his road.  He says there is one reason it's all going on. Hawthorne said "the police are not patrolling the area like they should."

Thursday night at the City Commission meeting Hawthorne told Police Chief James Younger and Commissioners that his neighborhood needs more Police Presence. Hawthorne said "that's what they say, to protect and serve. Well, they can't serve us when they are not here to protect us."

 Friday, Hawthorne started talking with other men about organizing a neighborhood watch. He says they can't wait on city officials. Hawthorne said "we going to start getting out here at night and riding up and down the street. If we see anybody, they got to go."

Hawthorne says he is not scared of gang's retaliation for fighting to take back his street. Hawthorne said "I don't care, Just like I told them last night. If I catch one in my yard, he's going to get hit right there in the yard. I am not going to play with them."

George Hawthorne told the Police and Commissioners they need more Cops on his street to keep gangs and criminals out.  Brave enough to stand up and insist what he and his neighbors want from city hall.

 Friday morning Hawthorne's city commissioner, Morris Gurr, came to his house to talk about Mercer Avenue's crime problems. Hawthorne said he'll be watching to see if more Police patrol the area.

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