Watch programs share crime fighting techniques - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Watch programs share crime fighting techniques

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

August 2, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It was a meeting of the minds in Albany with everyone focused on one thing, taking back the streets from criminals. "We came here to get encouraged and share ideas on how we can make our organization better," said Gordon Heights watch member, Linda Clyde.

Block captains took notes and exchanged tips on what has worked for them. For one group it was signs and for others it was t-shirts. "The t-shirts are very important in letting the criminals know that we are watching," said East Town watch member, Jerome Lowery.

Concerns from today's headlines also made it into the discussion. "Speeding, the crime that is going on within neighborhoods. We talked about deadly force; when and can you use deadly force on a person," said Lowery. 

This brought the group back to the original goal of a Neighborhood Watch Program. "We are not vigilantes. Basically are job is to be the eyes and ears of our police officers," said Lowery. "If we see an illegal activity going on then we are to call 9-1-1. We are not to take the law into our own hands."

And though this may seem minimal, program advocates say it works. "Someone sees what is going on and believe it or not that helps the police with solving a case," said Lowery. They also all agreed with the importance of networking and sharing resources in the community. 

"It takes an effort from APD, the people within a community, city commissioners and leaders. It takes a combined effort," said Lowery.

"It makes more people feel better about their neighborhood. You feel more secure in your home," said Clyde. And the results flow back into the good life city. "We are not only offering service to our neighbors, but also assisting the police department," said Clyde. And that helps make Albany safer one street at a time.

Dougherty County law enforcement agencies are teaming up with Target for the 25th Annual National Night out Tuesday. Everyone is encouraged to meet at the Target parking lot at 2:00 PM for the celebration that works to kick criminals off our streets.

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