Albany officer: Gang violence is increasing in Albany

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 7:07 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - WALB spoke to the Albany Police Department as gang violence seems to be on the uptick. Keep reading to see what the department said about what their seeing in the streets of Albany.

The question I know a lot of people are thinking about, it seems like gang crime across the nation is increasing. What are we seeing here in Albany?

“So like anywhere else we are seeing an increase in gang violence. The view of the police department is that we got multiple gang-motivated crimes occurring in our city. And they have been. And obviously, that manifests. Sometimes at different crimes are being committed. Like aggravated assault, robberies, entering autos, and burglaries. Sometimes murders. So we have seen an increase here in Albany,” Corporal Nazaret Sanchez with the Albany Gang Task Force said.

So what is going on with the Albany Gang Task Force? What are some things you are doing to combat this?

“So in combination with working with our patrol officers, who are already patrolling the neighborhoods. The high crime, high gang areas. We are working with other divisions, robbery-homicide, drug unit and obviously conducting death investigations into these criminal street gangs. To hit the root of the criminal street gangs’ leadership. In addition to that, we’re working with the Attorney General’s office. With a partnership in an effort to have successful prosecutions of these gangs,” Corporal Sanchez said.

What can the people do to help you get these gangs off the streets?

“Just for the residents to be aware of their neighborhoods. If you see something, report it. Pay close attention to your neighborhoods. New graffiti that has popped up. Clusters of individuals, groups, especially juveniles during school hours when they are supposed to be in school. Or unguarded. Even pay close attention to your own kids, Jim. Because we are seeing an increase in recruitment in youth. So even our own kids can fall victim to that. But just pay attention, report it. Don’t allow that kind of activity in your own neighborhood,” Sanchez said.

It seems like more of these crimes, when arrests are made, are getting younger and younger.

“Absolutely. We have seen an increase in youth recruitment like I mentioned a while ago. And a lot of this recruitment is going into what we can hybrid criminal street gangs. They are getting younger. We have seen as young and 10 years old being recruited.”