Gordon Avenue citizens start watch group

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Just a block from Monday's Family Dollar Store shooting, neighbors say they're fed up with the crime in their neighborhood and they're ready to do something about it.

Residents are meeting to form a neighborhood watch to take back their streets from criminals.

They want to work with police to get the guns off their streets. Some say all the police and attention to their neighborhood is too little too late. They say this has been a growing problem, that only gets attention when someone gets shot.

They say more needs to be done by police and residents to clean up south central streets and take back our neighborhoods.

It's not uncommon for people to walk, bike, or for kids to play along West Gordon Avenue. What is uncommon is the amount of crime the neighborhood has seen. Many say it was only a matter of time before someone was shot.

"I hope this message goes out to the next crook who thinks he can get away with it," said Neighborhood Watch Organizer Willie Ross.

Neighbors complain crime along West Gordon is so out of hand they're fed up. "We're not putting up with it, the police department's not putting up with it, the state's not putting up with it, we're tired, we're tired," Ross said.

As they sit on their porches or in their yards they'll be watching and not afraid to call police if something looks suspicious. "When you call them, they come out," said Concerned Neighbor Mary Smith.

Aquilla Thomas says a greater police presence would also help. "I'd just like to see them do, continue their job."

"They should get involved in the neighborhoods more, even if they have to get on foot patrol, there should be a little more involvement," said Samantha Williams.

Their involvement at the Harvey's plaza made for a quick response at the Family Dollar.

"I brought it up that we need more police protection in the south over here and that shows you the police department listened to us," said Ross.

Now they've got a message for the crooks, think twice about terrorizing local stores, because local residents aren't afraid to do what's necessary to protect themselves.

Organizers from the east side neighborhood watch say they want to help the south side get together an organized group. Many residents we talked to today however said they were unaware of tonight's meeting which is underway now at Henderson Gym on Willard Street.

The Albany Police Department is willing to help any neighborhood get a neighborhood watch program started. You can contact the Public relations Department of the Albany Police Department or the Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful Office.

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