Cordele police hope to organize community to improve safety -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Cordele police hope to organize community to improve safety

Paula Lowery, Rags to Riches Boutique Owner Paula Lowery, Rags to Riches Boutique Owner
Sgt. Jeremy Taylor, Cordele Police Department Sgt. Jeremy Taylor, Cordele Police Department
Cordele City Hall Cordele City Hall

Cordele police are reaching out to the community to try to prevent more crimes in the wake of several armed robberies last week.

Thursday, officers will host a community meeting to get more people involved in neighborhood watches.  Police say crime has spiked this holiday season as it does every year.  But they hope some helpful tips and community bonding will keep people safe.   

The bell welcoming customers into Cordele stores may now have a different meaning.

"We had several robberies here.  One just two blocks from us down here.  And that is real scary because you don't ever know when they could walk in your door," said Paula Lowery, Rags to Riches Boutique Owner. 

Surveillance video of last week's robbery at gun point at a discount convenience store on the corner of 24th Avenue and 7th street in Cordele is one example of a recent string in violent crimes that have residents on edge.

"I think we need to look after one another.  In fact, in my cell phone I have the business owner next door and I have told her if I need her I will call her.  And she said she would be glad to," Lowery said.

It's just that kind of community cooperation police say is essential to deter crime.

"I can drive down the street all day long.  If I don't live there, I don't know who's not supposed to be there, and who is supposed to be there," said Sgt. Jeremy Taylor, Cordele Police Department.  "Neighbors do, and when you see someone who's not supposed to be there, you call us" 

The Cordele Police Department will host a neighborhood watch meeting in City Hall to safety tips.

"We're trying to create a network of neighborhood watch groups.  So not only can they communicate with us, they can communicate with each other," said Taylor. 

Residents and some shop owners like the idea.

"There have been more robberies.  I think it's been due to the economy.  People just don't have the money," said Lowery.

Officers said the meeting isn't a response to recent crimes, but plan to use recent events to illustrate what to watch out for.

"Unfortunately, you would like to think the holidays brings the best out in people, but some it brings the worst out in people. There's a lot of money flowing around, there's a lot of big ticket items left in vehicles," Taylor said. 

And looking after each other could prevent holiday heartbreak.

Several residents I spoke with didn't want to appear on camera, but noted an increase in crime over the last year.  All of them support efforts to form watch organizations.  

The neighborhood watch meeting will be on the second floor in City Hall Thursday night at 7:30pm.  If you can't make the meeting, you can call the police department for safety tips.


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