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Police and community collaborate to stop crime

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

July 26, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Representatives from the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit, Albany Police and the Albany Gang Task force were at an East Albany town hall meeting Saturday morning. There officers educated residents about their roles in crime prevention.

And in turn residents told officers about things they'd like to see change. Faces full of concern filled the room as each hoped to hear something they can take back with them to improve the safety of their streets.

"There are 17-thousand dollars in this little container of powder cocaine. A reality you think we can get rid of with money in it like that," Major Derrell Smith told the crowd.

Officers from the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit brought samples of drugs collected in the county. The same drugs that initiate a lot of the crimes especailly among the youth in Albany. "It's not so much the youths fault. I think one of the things that is going on is we are not holding ourselves as adults accountable for our children's activities," said East Albany Resident, Charan Johnson.

Something this East Albany resident says needs to change now before another teenager is gunned down. "I have a 17-year-old daughter myself and it concerns me. So we need more community involvement and stop pointing fingers at just crime," said Johnson.

Police say that the accountability should start with them. "We want to hear their concerns. We are asking them to call us anytime they see suspicious things going on," said Albany Gang Task Force Lt. James Williams.

Officers stressed they can't win against crime without help from the eyes and hears of those who see and hear it first.  "You trust in me and I trust in you, and that is exactly what we are trying to built back up in the community," said Williams.

They hope that message reaches far beyond the people in the room, many who are still mourning the loss of that teen. "To the young man's family, my heart and my wife's heart goes out to their family. And I hope that we can do something to try to curb the crime in Albany," said Johnson.

Police hope the meeting will get more people to voluntarily reach out to them before the crime scene tape has to be put up on their properties where they will be forced to talk to officers.

An easy way for citizens to give information to the police is through the crime stoppers hotline. Callers can remain anonymous and your information could lead to a reward. That number is 229-436-TIPS.

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