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Albany city leaders, APD introduce ‘Stop the Violence’ listening session

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 5:49 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany’s mayor, city commissioners and the Albany Police Department are looking at ways to stop the violence in the Good Life City.

They are hosting a listening session that’s open to the public at 6 p.m. on Thursday. It will be at the Albany Municipal Auditorium.

Their goal is to hear from clergy members about strategies they think can help deter violence in the Albany.

Albany Police Chief Michael Persley said this will be an opportunity to get together and address the recent crime in Albany.

He said COVID-19 has played a role in community involvement, but there still needs to be conversations around what challenges there are in the community.

The main discussion will start with clergy members.

Persley said the same people they want to keep off the streets are the same people faith-based organizations want to help.

Police Chief Michael Persley said he wants to build relationships with clergy members.
Police Chief Michael Persley said he wants to build relationships with clergy members. (WALB)

“When we look at the root causes, a lot of it has to do with the morals the values that people have. Here’s an opportunity again for the City of Albany community as a whole to look at how do we enhance our social justice system’s support those, empower those, improve those so that the criminal justice system doesn’t have to take the forefront,” Persley said.

Persley said one thing he hopes comes out of the meeting is a collaboration between religious groups and the police department.

He said a way for them to get messages out and support a specific community is through afterschool programs, summer camps and community outreach programs faith-based organizations are having.

To listen to the conversations, RSVP to City Clerk Sonja Tolbert at (229) 431-2161. Those who attend are expected to wear masks and social distance.

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