Safe City Coalition reaches halfway mark toward strategic plan t - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Safe City Coalition reaches halfway mark toward strategic plan to fight crime

The Safe City Coaltion reached it's halfway mark in completing a strategic plan to fight crime. (Source: WALB) The Safe City Coaltion reached it's halfway mark in completing a strategic plan to fight crime. (Source: WALB)
Technology and community partnerships were some of the top suggestions made by the 30-member Safe City Coalition. (Source: WALB) Technology and community partnerships were some of the top suggestions made by the 30-member Safe City Coalition. (Source: WALB)
Albany Police Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB) Albany Police Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB)
Safe City Coalition member Ben Roberts (Source: WALB) Safe City Coalition member Ben Roberts (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Community members worked on real, tangible solutions to crime in Albany.

The Safe City Coalition reached its halfway mark in completing a strategic plan to fight crime.

Technology and community partnerships were some of the top suggestions made by the 30-member Safe City Coalition. 

"Short-term we come up with a strategy, here's our playbook, the long-term now we have to execute," Albany Police Chief Michael Persley said to a small crowd of community leaders who all want to see an end to the bad news that's put a dark cloud over the Good Life City.

"This whole plan is really about collaboration," remarked another member of APD, and figuring out a way to fight crime.

"We need to be willing to stand up, be active and do something to make our community better," explained Ben Roberts. 

It's the reason why Roberts and 29 others like Tom Gieryic chose to serve on the Mayor's Safe City Coalition.

"To make sure the police department is really connected to the community," said Roberts. 

The members also worked on recruitment and retention, "trying to find ways to compete with other law enforcement agencies who may have better salaries," explained Roberts. 

And ensuring that officers are equipped with technology that doesn't invade residents' privacy.

Chief Persley said 26 recommendations came out of the first focus group.

Each of those was put into five categories for five additional workgroups to figure out tangible solutions such as expanding the resource list for victims of domestic violence, "to help people who may have mental health concerns," Persley added.

And teaming up with social service organizations.

"There may be some social issues that are outside of the realm of control of the police department, but there are other organizations that can address that. These people sat down and actually put some thought into it," explained Persley. 

"What is going to be in that report are going to be things that are going to make a tangible difference," said Roberts. 

Chief Persley said he'll present the strategic plan to Mayor Hubbard the first week of the new year. 

Upon her review, it will then be unveiled to the Board of Commissioners. 

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