Gang task force wants youths to stay out of trouble on spring br - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Gang task force wants youths to stay out of trouble on spring break

Police are concerned for the youth during spring break (Source: WALB) Police are concerned for the youth during spring break (Source: WALB)
City leaders are concerned by youth committing crimes (Source: WALB) City leaders are concerned by youth committing crimes (Source: WALB)
Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB) Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB)
Jon Howard (Source: WALB) Jon Howard (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany Police Gang Unit officers say they will mount extra patrols next week when Dougherty County schools are on spring break.  

Officers want parents to take responsibility for their kids.

City leaders say they are concerned by crimes committed by young people. Some as young as 12 years old.

"It's amazing the times we are living in. We are seeing so many crimes that are being committed, by young males particularly," said Albany City Commissioner Jon Howard.

Dougherty County schools will be out for spring break next week, and police and the Gang Unit are taking steps to try to prevent more crimes by young people with too much time on their hands.

"We will increase patrol. We'll go out and we'll answer calls like we normally do," said Albany Police Gang Unit Commander Lt. Antonio Fletcher.

Albany Police Chief Michael Persley said he is concerned by recent crimes involving juveniles.

"We have been getting reports of juveniles, as young as 14 or 15, moving through neighborhoods late at night," said Persely. "Possibly involved in burglaries and entering autos."

Persley wants to make sure those crimes don't increase while kids are out of school, so city leaders are calling on parents to help.

"They should monitor. Continue to supervise. Continue to monitor the kids and their activities," said Fletcher.

"We certainly can save some of these young folk who want to join gangs. If parents take a more proactive role in their kids activity, and especially the school activity," said Howard.

Albany police say they are also being proactive to try to keep crime from increasing while students aren't in school.

Chief Persely is urging parents to put their children in supervised programs such as the Boys and Girls Club when they are out of school.

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