ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - After a recent slew of violent crimes, Albany Police Chief, Michael Persley, addressed young people in the community about their part in this new type of pandemic.
“Gun violence has gotten us here today. And we all must do our part in combating it. For those between the ages of 13 to 26, there is hope for you. There are options for what you’re doing, and someone is here to help you make the best choices for your life. You just have to be ready and willing to meet them and accept their help," said Chief Michael Persley.
During Wednesday’s crime press conference, Dougherty County Sheriff, Kevin Sproul, said another group could help to prevent future violent offenses.
“So, if you’re a parent out there, or guardian, or a concerned individual, and you have somebody that you think may have gang ties, or hanging out with gang members, or even in a gang, please contact the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office and we’ll do an intervention. We can find out right quick like if there is any association tied with the gang," said Sheriff Kevin Sproul.
On Monday night, a teen and a man were shot and killed in a duplex on Wingate Avenue.
Chief Persley said those with information should come forward, or they could become the next gun violence victim.
“If you don’t speak up, you could potentially be the next victim. That’s just the honest truth. Those people who want to remain anonymous, you can still call, give us information. You know somebody who’s in the police department. You know somebody who works in the sheriff’s department. You know somebody with the county police. You might have a third party through a faith-based organization. Provide the information to somebody, who can give it to us if you just don’t want to be the one identified as the one giving the information. There are various ways to do that, but whatever you have to do, give us the information, because we don’t want you to potentially become a victim," said Chief Persley.
During the briefing, a pastor asked that the city and county come together to revitalize recreation in the Good Life City.
Baconton Pastor, Lawrence Knighton, gave law enforcement and leaders a plan he says could decrease the crime rates among young people.
“No community will ever be as good as the recreational programs for the city. It won’t. I don’t care how you slice it. We can come down and have these meetings from now on. Until we put something in place for recreation, nothing’s gonna change," said Pastor Knighton.
Pastor Knighton suggested renovating gyms into recording studios, where youth could record clean and constructive rap songs.
He also says recreational hubs should be in every part of the city for various sports.
Knighton says law enforcement should consider starting a hotline parents can call and report their kids if they are participating in gang activity.