ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany's mayor has issued a call to action for the city of Albany, following senseless killings across the Good Life City, where 19 people have been killed this year alone.
Now Mayor Dorothy Hubbard is demanding an end to the inexplicable violence.
She has declared a need for residents to take back their community and has launched a new collaborative effort to combat these recent crimes.
Robert Montgomery grew up in Albany, raised his family in Albany, and now, years into his retirement, he leads his neighborhood watch group.
And if you ask him, this town has changed.
"Every day you pick up the paper, the front page has something about somebody been killed or something like that," said Montgomery.
It's a new reality Montgomery said isn't going to change until the community steps up to end the violence.
Just last weekend, one man was shot and killed trying to stop an armed robbery.
And the next day, police said another man was killed during a drug deal.
"It continues to give Albany a bad name because when the news gets out, 'Oh, we don't want to go to Albany. We don't want to live in Albany,'" said Montgomery.
And that reputation is something Mayor Dorothy Hubbard wants to repair.
In a press conference Thursday, she spoke about the formation of a new Safe City Coalition in the wake of the recent homicides and other major crimes.
"We're asking this committee, made up of a cross section of our community and law enforcement, to look at ways of decreasing crime and preventing crime," said Mayor Hubbard.
She mentioned the incorporation of new technology and data to address the issues.
But Montgomery said it all depends on the men and women who call Albany home.
Their efforts and their commitment to keeping Albany safe is what can make or break this city.
"I will be honest with you," said Montgomery. "I don't see things getting any better tomorrow because I don't see attitudes of the neighbors change. Until that changes, that change has to come first, and then you might see some improvement in crime. But until we have a different attitude about me, and what I'm going to do, it will remain the same."
Montgomery encouraged residents to get involved in their neighborhood watch programs.
The police can only be so many places at once, and he said your input is beyond important.
Mayor Hubbard said the new Coalition will have 60 days to come up with a plan of action to combat the crime.
Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.