ALBANY, Ga. — Two community organizations plan an inclusive march in Albany Saturday to draw attention to the pain that crime inflicts on the community.
Calling the march “Crime... Everyone Pays,” the Stop the Violence and Taking Authority groups invite residents to march through Albany to the Government Center Saturday, said Matthew Peterson, Stop the Violence administrator.
The march is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with people gathering at 9:30 a.m. at four geographic areas in the city including:
— North: Thronateeska: 100 W. Roosevelt Ave.
— South: Civic Center: 100 W. Oglethorpe Blvd.
— West: Friendship Missionary Baptist: 400 Pine Ave.
— East: Shackleford Shopping Center: 200 E. Oglethorpe Blvd.
Each group will march to 222 Pine Ave. where there will be speakers how crime has impacted families and the community.
Parking will be available behind the court house and a shuttle will take people to each of the four starting points.
“We want to let people know that if they have given up hope or feel nobody cares,” said Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul, “that there are people who care, people who want to make our community better.”
The best way for the community to become better, Peterson said, is for the community to unify against crime.
“We must raise awareness that crime hurts everyone. We must convince our youth that it isn’t just the criminal that has to pay for his crime. The criminal’s family pays. The victim pays. Everyone pays, “Peterson said. “The only way to do this is by working together with law enforcement, city officials and each other. We have to show that we care about the city.”
There will be door prizes and lunch after speakers such as Bishop Frederick Williams of the Gethsemane Worship Center, Capt. Benita Childs of the Albany Police Department and others finish.
The Stop the Violence group plans to continue its efforts and meetings at 10 a.m. Tuesdays at the Gethsemane Worship Center, 529 10th Ave., after the march.
“The march is a step in the right direction,” said Albany City Commissioner Jon Howard. “We have to bring the community together to help eradicate crime.”