Viewpoint: Citizens need to feel safe

Last week, WALB news presented a special report on crime in Albany called 'Under Siege.'

Our findings reinforced the perception that being in some parts of the Good Life City puts you at risk of being a crime victim.

We even heard as much from City Commissioner Jon Howard as we toured parts of his ward on Mulberry Avenue. "This is an area I'm concerned about and at night I watch my back," said Howard.

We encouraged you to check out our special report "Under Siege" online and tell us your thoughts on safety in the city of Albany. Here's what you told us.

  • Nearly 50% of those polled say they're quite worried about their safety.
  • About 30% feel a bit unsafe but have a real concern about safety.
  • 12% feel mostly safe with some concern.
  • 9% feel somewhat safe.
  • Only 5% of those polled say they feel completely safe with no worries about safety.

While our poll is not scientific, it is deeply concerning to see that 80% of the respondents have a real concern, or are quite worried-- about their safety in Albany. And perception is reality to most people.

If city leaders, including those in Albany law enforcement, needed any more evidence that the public is calling for more and better law and order, they ought to have it.

We join the average Albany citizen in calling for increased police patrols and police presence in the community, and vigorous prosecution of the criminal elements who force people to live in fear.

We need to get these thugs behind bars, where they cannot intimidate law-abiding people.