Dougherty Co. neighborhood watch programs to be recognized - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Co. neighborhood watch programs to be recognized

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Neighborhood watch programs make a big difference in the safety of a community.

Next week, neighborhood watch programs in Albany and Dougherty County will be recognized for their dedication.

If you don't know your neighbor chances are there is some sort of neighborhood association or neighborhood watch in your community these groups along with police officers make our area a better place to live.

Antonie and Wilhelmina Veldkamp say they feel safe when they leave home.

"Well the neighbors look after each other," said Antonie and Wilhelmina Veldkamp, Dougherty Co. Residents.

So does Deborah Sellers

"I have been out when it's still dark getting my newspaper and seen people walk on the streets and we do not have lights," said Deborah Sellers, President of the Radium Springs Neighborhood Association.

That's because they know that even if they aren't home someone is keeping an eye on their home for them.

"People aren't bashful about things we see in our area we are very proactive about reporting it," said Sellers.

These folks in Radium Springs have developed relationships with their neighbors.

"When I walk I pick up trash, I see the other ladies and we talk," said Wilhelmina VeldKamp.

Many have gotten to know neighbors by becoming a part of the Radium Springs neighborhood association.

"I think in order to be a safer community we need the assistance of the citizens," said John Hayes, Dougherty Co. Commissioner.

Sellers is the President of the Association, one of the largest neighborhood watches in the county..

"We have one of the lowest crime rates in the county so we are very blessed," said Sellers.

But they go beyond preventing crime they are focused on keeping the area beautiful and creating an overall better community.

"I go around and pick up trash and the next week I need another trash can," said Antonie Veldkamp.

"I don't like trash, it make the neighborhood trashy," said Wilhelmina Veldkamp.

Commissioner John Hayes says Associations like Radium Springs make a major difference and Monday these groups will be recognized for their efforts.

"To tell those folks thank you for making a much better and more attractive community," said Hayes.

Community involvement in a neighborhood sends a powerful message to criminals.

"I think they get the message that if something happened we would call," said Antonie Veldkamp..

No matter how bad crime gets some neighborhoods, like this one, won't put up with it.

That recognition is Monday morning at 9am at the government center. Everyone from the community is encouraged to come and say thank you to those who help keep an eye out for you when you leave home. 

This is the 3rd year that Neighborhood Watch programs have been recognized.

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