ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany and Dougherty County leaders will host a community gathering Saturday evening to discuss the police and racial divides.
The Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul said he wants to hold a peaceful rally to let people voice their opinions.
The rally will be Saturday at 7 p.m. at the amphitheater beside the Civic Center.
"Let our community know that indeed there is an issue. We're not turning a blind eye to it. We know out there is a lot of hate, a lot of anger, a lot of vengeance out there, so to speak. And we just want to let people know what we are trying to do as leaders in this community," said Sproul.
Sproul said over the weekend he and law enforcement leaders have been meeting with community activists and church leaders to keep Albany peaceful.
"Across our country, communities are being torn apart. You turn on the news, and you see it everyday," he said.
Since the ambush shooting of a Valdosta police officer, South Georgia law enforcement officers have known it could happen here, and have been careful to protect against more violence.
Sproul said officers now face that danger everyday.
"We've had them on high alert. They've been on elevated status of being aware of their surroundings. Being alert. Not getting involved in situations by themselves without having back up," he said.
The Sheriff said they know there is a real concern about national police conduct, and they want to keep Albany a safe and peaceful community.
For now, deputies were told to vary their schedules every day, to avoid the possibility of being targeted.