APD chief responds to frequent gunfire in South Albany community

APD chief responds to frequent gunfire in South Albany community
Continuous gunfire is an issue throughout the city. (Source: WALB)
APD said they need a good bit of information to go on to try to find out where the gunshots came from and who's doing the shooting. (Source: WALB)
APD said they need a good bit of information to go on to try to find out where the gunshots came from and who's doing the shooting. (Source: WALB)
Albany Police Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB)
Albany Police Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB)
Dexter Prescott (Source: WALB)
Dexter Prescott (Source: WALB)
Residents are concerned with the frequent gunfire that's erupting in the 2300 block of South Washington Street. (Source: WALB)
Residents are concerned with the frequent gunfire that's erupting in the 2300 block of South Washington Street. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany's police chief responded to concerns about the nonstop gunfire happening in one South Albany neighborhood.

Resident Dexter Prescott feels officers take too long to respond to his 911 calls about the constant gunshots he hears day and night.

Albany Police Chief Michael Persley said continuous gunfire is an issue throughout the city, and it's even more difficult for officers to track down the suspects when callers don't want to be contacted after reporting a crime.

"We need a good bit of information to go on to try to find out where the gunshots came from and who's doing the shooting," explained Persley.

Scared for his life, Prescott said he's called 911 every time he hears it, claiming officers take too long to respond.

"It's basically saying to me if I'm in immediate danger, I'm in trouble," said Prescott.

But Persley said that's not the case.

"Mr. Prescott, we just ask him, come let us know and when you do hear calls, let us know, can you give us more information? And that really goes for everyone," explained Persley.

WALB pulled three of Prescott's 911 calls in the past four weeks, and each time he refused to give his number for an officer to follow up, which Persley said hinders an investigation.

But what about the time it takes for an officer to arrive?

"People will say, 'Well it took you guys a long time to get here,' and when we go back to research, if a priority came in, it may have overridden that call," said Persley.

But it doesn't mean they don't send anyone, they just have to re-dispatch another officer.

One police report showed Prescott called on January 28, at 11:36 p.m., reporting hearing several rounds of gunfire and the first officer arrived at 11:41 p.m.

"That's pretty good when you look at the amount of time, and of course when you are there, you kind of want the police quick fast and in a hurry," said Persley.

And with 51 square miles and 74,000 people, Persley said his officers continue to strive to respond to emergency calls quickly.

Albany police are teaming up with APD's Gang Unit for several operations in the 2200 block of South Jackson Street, just one street over from the same block on South Washington Street Prescott is reporting gunfire.

And officers continue to monitor the surrounding areas.

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