ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Community leaders are calling for people in Albany to help take back our streets in 2016. The citizen's group "Stop the Violence is starting its sixth year in Albany.
Founded by two ministers, the group works to bring law enforcement and people together to fight crime.
Stop the Violence leaders say people in Albany who want the city to be crime free need to take responsibility and help law enforcement clean up the streets.
No one wants to see police lights or violence on their streets. Stop The Violence leaders say the way to fight crime is to get involved.
Stop The Violence Co-Founder Bishop Frederick Williams said, "We have to all take responsibility. Stop closing our eyes and begin to take responsibility community to community."
Leaders are urging people to keep watch on their street and report issues to law enforcement when they see it. Law enforcement says they see it working.
Albany Police Chief Michael Persley said "So the more they get involve the more that they say not in our city. Not in our town. Not in our county. Not even in our state."
Law enforcement heads have worked to gain people's trust in recent years. They say community involvement has made Albany safer.
Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul said "Just a few years ago we had so many active gang homicides. And now when you look at the numbers and how low they are compared to the way they used to be, it's got to be reasons."
Now, Stop the Violence leaders ask people in the New Year to get involved and make Albany safer.
Williams said "One of the things they were reiterating is prevention. We want to take this opportunity to continue to teach the community how to prevent crimes. So I feel real good about it, but there is still work to do."
The Sheriff and Police Chief say their officers are dedicated to making Albany a healthier, safer community but they need folks to get involved and help them by keeping watch over their own streets.
Leaders say there are ways like CrimeSTOPPERS and Neighborhood Watch groups to report crime issues or tips anonymously and that is all they are asking you to do.