Police encourage neighborhood watch groups

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Albany citizens are stepping up to the plate and speaking out when they notice suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. An alarmed neighbor called the police on a group of men, and even though it turned out to be a false alarm, you never know, until you call.

What seems perfectly normal to some people is alarming to others.

"I had a knock at my door and some guys wanted to do some yard work for me," said Bill Dikes. "I didn't think anything of it. The next thing I know it's the police."

Friday morning, a man who lives on Forest Glen noticed a group of men walking around neighborhood, knocking on doors, looking for lawn work.

"I believe the homeowner got scared and they got scared and they ran off," said Albany PD Sgt. Michael Persley.

But after police showed up and questioned the men, and it turned out to be nothing. "Even though today was a false alarm it showed people are concerned about their safety," said Persley.

"Its a very good feeling to know they are looking out for me," Dikes said.

Police officers say more people are stepping up to the plate when it comes to the safety of their neighborhoods.

People like Ronnie Tate. "We distribute flyers and knock on doors and say look we got to get involved down here."

Who spends most of his day watching his neighborhood. "I got 20 houses, 20 block captains, that's quite big. You cant do it all in one day you just go back and forth until you get to the end of your journey."

Tate says he calls the police whenever he sees something suspicious. "We called the police last week sometime cause there were some kids down there."

Even if it turns out to be a false alarm. "Those are the types of calls we love to go to, because you never know what you may find out when you get there," said Persley.

In the meantime, neighborhood watch groups like Tate's have a message for criminals," My neighborhood, I got them on standby," said Tate.

Because a neighbor can be key in helping police solve a crime.

Police say if you don't already know your neighbors you should, because they can be one of the best tools when it comes to keeping your home and family safe.

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