Thursday, July 24 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:46:21 GMT
Former Associated Press writer Jim Purks shared his experiences with people in Albany Thursday night.More >>
Former Associated Press writer Jim Purks shared his experiences with people in Albany Thursday night. More >>
CAMILLA, GA (WALB) -
Dozens of law enforcers are in Camilla tonight to make sure an annual block party that drew a crowd of four thousand people last year doesn't get out of control.The city has stepped in to make sure attendees are safe, but not everyone is happy about it.
Last year's annual block party in Camilla drew thousands of people, but this year's turnout could be much smaller. The Camilla Police Department is stepping in, and setting up road blocks. They're checking ID's, and turning away people from out of town.
"We're trying to just bring it back to the local community, their area," said Capt. John Hendricks with the Camilla Police Department.
The Georgia State Patrol, and law enforcers from surrounding counties are also assisting with road checks, but some residents are not happy about it.
"It's not fair because they don't do this when they have "Gnat Day." "Gnat Day" is open to the public, anybody can go in," said resident Willie Brown.
"If the city can make money off it they would support it," said visitor Waymon Williams.
Law enforcers say parking and health hazards are the main issues, and while some people aren't happy to see the police presence, others are grateful to have them there.
"As we was setting up the checks coming out, they thanked us for being there. He says they will come in and urinate on your grass, on your bushes. They park all over your grass, throw trash everywhere," said Capt. Hendricks.
"You gone always find someone who disagrees with whatever you doing, no matter where it is or where it at," said Brown.
Many residents say the party is meant for families to get together and have a good time, and remember those who lost their lives in the Mitchell County tornadoes several years ago.
"We gone continue to keep this going on, all of us are like family out here," said resident Stanley Williams.
"Keeping the kids together, showing them that we as people can come together and have a good time. That's all we want to have," said resident Shelton Johnson.
Law enforcers are urging block party organizers to find a proper location and permitted venue for future parties. Camilla police say tax payer dollars are being used to pay for the extra security, and the block party clean up.