Neighborhood Watch leaders organize, plan big meeting - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Neighborhood Watch leaders organize, plan big meeting

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Albany Police Crime Prevention Unit Corporal Brian Covington Albany Police Crime Prevention Unit Corporal Brian Covington
CCWA President Elect Dr. Charles Gillespie CCWA President Elect Dr. Charles Gillespie
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany Neighborhood Watch leaders are organizing a city wide association to help neighborhood crime fighters work better together.

The new neighborhood watch organization, called the Council of Community Watches and Associations, will meet on Saturday.

The CCWA is concerned by a map of Albany's neighborhood watch coverage, with all of the active watch groups' area marked by the colors.

CCWA President Elect Dr. Charles Gillespie said "Those are the established neighborhood watches. But the significance is the white area, where there are no watches."

Organizers want to get more concerned people active in neighborhood watches. Their goal, to have all the streets involved, watching for and preventing crime.

Law enforcement says neighborhood watches help prevent and solve crimes, especially when they work together.

"You'll be surprised, a lot of times they are experiencing the same type of crimes, but it could be the same people doing things," said Albany Police Crime Prevention Unit Corporal Brian Covington.

CCWA officials say getting organized now is urgent, because summer time usually means the gangs get more active, and crimes like burglary and entering autos skyrocket. And they say it's time for neighborhood watches to be prepared.

"It is, because young people don't have much to do except hang out with their buddies in the gangs and stuff like that," said CCWA President Elect Dr. Charles Gillespie. "It's a big recruiting time for the gangs."

The new neighborhood watch organization wants to get all watch captains active, and urge folks on other streets to join their organization and work together to fight crime.

"Neighborhood watches impact the community as a whole," said Covington. "However, it only works when the neighbors lookout for one another."

The goal is to improve communication between all the neighborhood watch members, to get thousands of eyes watching our streets and making them safer.

The Council of Community watches and Associations will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday at the police station at 201 West Oglethorpe. Anyone interested in learning more about neighborhood watch is invited.

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