Albany -- Neighbors started a neighborhood watch program at the Colonial Village Subdivision off Clark Avenue in East Albany. Block Captain Harold Williams said "the crime was kinda bad here, but since we got the neighborhood crime watch going, we don't have that much a problem anymore. It's kinda broke down."
Now people who live there look proudly at their flower bed they built at the entrance of their neighborhood. Glendette Thomas said "it used to be a high crime neighborhood. And now? We made a start."
Not only does it look nice, but it's part of a crime fighting program. HUD gives grants to lower income neighborhood watch programs to plant flowers, and improve the look of the area. Studies show that helps keep criminals out. Williams said "I think that once people see a clean area, they will say this is a clean area, and I don't want to go in and do anything wrong. It seems to help."
Williams and his Neighborhood Watch group applied for the beautification program grant for two thousand dollars in May, and Wednesday celebrated the entrance flower garden they built.
They have also planted several flower beds at the intersections throughout the neighborhood. And they recommend other neighborhoods around Albany seek grants to plant flowers, and fight crime. Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful Executive Director Judy Bowles said " we have to change attitudes. We have to have pride in our community. Pride in our neighborhoods. And yes it is all tied together. "
The neighborhood watch volunteers have to maintain the flower beds, but they say it will show the pride they have in their neighborhood. Williams said "I feel very proud."
Now these flowers show off an Albany neighborhood where the people are working together to make their homes safer from crime, and look better.
Nine more $2000 grants are available through the Neighborhood Watch Crime Program. To apply, contact Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful.