Albany city leaders step up fight against juvenile crime -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany city leaders step up fight against juvenile crime

School's out for the summer.   And while that's good news for kids, police worry that crime will increase.

City officials and Police are asking parents to take the leading role in this push to prevent juvenile crime.

City officials say they are going to enforce the curfew strictly. Albany City Commissioner Jon Howard said "I think the Police Department is going to be extremely busy this summer."

And what city leaders are asking is that parents become the first line of crime prevention. At special events and event centers they don't want parents just dropping their teens off, sometimes not picking them up until hours after the curfew.

Howard said "the parent will drop the kids off and the kids will tell them that it ends at some certain time. And the Police Department ends up having to babysit these kids until sometimes wee in the hours."

J and K Event Center owner Corey Davis said he also has problems with parents not picking up their kids on time.

Davis said "Remember the curfew is at 12 O-clock. That's the biggest problem."

The Seed of Faith Discipleship Church had vandalism problems in the past, but now has found working with the teens, like Summer Enrichment programs during the week, and hosting Friday night youth gatherings, has helped.

Pastor Pearlie Jones Dawson said "We know there are a lot of violence and crime going on, so we try to be a place where we can offer an outlet for them, and it has been very effective."

The church and the event center have seen a big decrease in vandalism and juvenile crime, by offering more positive activities for kids.

 Davis said "up in this area of Broad, the confusion has been down tremendously. Thanks to APD, the gang task force, the neighbors in the plaza working together. And we just hope to continue to build."

 Dawson said "Because we want to deter violence. We want to deter the fighting and these kinds of things in our community."

City officials are asking parents to make sure their teens are supervised to keep juvenile crime from increasing this summer. Albany churches and other community leaders say they are stepping up to help.

But Police say they will make sure kids and teens are not becoming involved in crime. Police say they will increase Uniform officer patrols, as will increasing both the Gang Unit and Special Detail Unit operations in high crime areas. And they say the curfew will be strictly enforced. 

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