APD Gang Unit focused on fighting crime

APD Gang Unit focused on fighting crime
The gang unit patrols several different areas around town. (Source: WALB)
Lieutenant Victor Camp is the Gang Unit Commander. (Source: WALB)
Lieutenant Victor Camp is the Gang Unit Commander. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A recent string of shootings this week has the Albany Police Robbery-Homicide Unit working with the Gang Unit to see if they are connected.

The unit has been busy locking up criminals for gang-related activity.

At the same time, officers are working in the community to keep our youth away from the violence.

"There's other cities that are having gang problems. We are just having our share of it," said Gang Unit Commander Lieutenant Victor Camp.

Camp's unit is working a number of cases, including this week's most recent shootings.

"Just because there is a shooting, it is not necessarily gang-related. We do have to do the legwork in the investigation to find whether or not it was gang-related," explained Camp.

But Camp said when his team can find a gang connection and help with an arrest, it's noted. Just last month APD arrested three people on South Jackson Street.

"They went and arrested a couple guys one of my agents had arrest warrants on and the neighbors were clapping, said, 'Oh, it's about time,'" said Camp.

Camp said they had been watching a house where there were known gang members hanging out.

"There was supposed to be gang activity and drug sales and all. We were able to do about a month-long investigation, a little bit longer and we were able to shut that place down," explained Camp.

Right now, intelligence officers can identify 25 gangs in Albany. They believe two are homegrown. With so many gangs around town, Camp said his unit works hard to be involved in the community, specifically with young kids.

"We go out and sit with them at the lunch table and we talk to them, whatever they want to talk about. We also talk about not joining gangs and things like that. I think a lot of it is family getting involved and doing things with younger kids," said Camp.

Tchywaskie Jones, Kenyatte Smith and Markell Brown were the people arrested in the South Jackson area.

Smith and Brown are facing charges of operating a disorderly house.

This isn't Brown's first run-in with the law.

He was actually arrested in 2017, charged with felony murder in connection with the March 4 death of John Lewis Jr.

That homicide took place just down the road from where Brown is accused of operating the disorderly house.

All three men are out of jail on bond.

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