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Police set to protect residents from gangs

District Attorney Greg Edwards states that he will prosecute gang members to the fullest extent of the law at a news conference including Dougherty County school officials and law enforcement representatives from all areas of Dougherty County.

District Attorney Greg Edwards states that he will prosecute gang members to the fullest extent of the law at a news conference including Dougherty County school officials and law enforcement representatives from all areas of Dougherty County.

ALBANY, Ga. — Responding to the Sunday murder of a Bloods gang leader, local law enforcement officials say they are ready to protect the community.

Their message to the community is to remain alert, but feel safe to carry out normal activities.

The law enforcement muscle comes from city and county police, school police and college police.

Leading a Friday morning news conference in the APD Law Enforcement Center, Albany Police Chief John Proctor emphasized police are following leads on the case and are taking other measures to protect residents.

“We will do all that we can legally do to safeguard the community,” Proctor said. “That needs to be known.”

Proctor said every officer in his command and the entire law enforcement community stands on high alert after the Rattler gang shootings Sunday that killed 24-year-old Dontavious Luke and wounded five others.

The Labor Day weekend activities such as high school football games and the Albany State University game would be closely watched as a safety measure, police assured.

“It is going to be safe. We have instituted proactive actions,” said Dougherty County School System Police Chief Troy Conley. “There will be zero tolerance for anything out of the norm or along the lines of what is not tolerated. Measures will be taken.”

Conley and other law enforcement leaders from every organization in the area including the District Attorney’s Office, attended the news conference to add weight to Proctor’s message, “All the folks that need to be arrested, will be arrested. We need for this to stop.”

Proctor pointed out that police cannot be everywhere and that residents can help fight gangs. He continuously stated that if anyone sees anything suspicious they should call the police.

“If you see something, say something,” Proctor said. “We can’t act unless you share with us. Police can’t stop it by themselves; the Sheriff can’t stop it by themselves. We need your help.”

When more arrests are made, District Attorney Greg Edwards said he will see that those participating in gang activity will be charged for their crimes as gang members. That charge would add as much as 15 years to a sentence on top of sentences for the underlying crimes such as assault, robbery or any illegal act.

Gangs typically recruit at schools. This, along with concerns about gang activity at football games and other Labor Day activities, is what led to the inclusion of Dougherty County School Superintendent Joshua Murfree and his police.

Murfree assured residents that schools are safe and that steps are being taken to keep them safe when they reopen Tuesday.

“When there is a code red at a school it doesn’t mean the school, it means the community,” Murfree said. “We lock ourselves in and we lock others out.”

As of Friday four people were in Dougherty County Jail connected with the Sunday killing: Danny Wilkerson Jr. of Thomasville, Kelvin Drake, Mansseh Skinner and Keith Roberson, all of Albany. Wilkerson is facing murder charges in connection with the death of Luke.

Anyone interested in learning more about gangs and updates on the Albany area Gang Task Force operation was encouraged by Proctor to attend the group’s monthly session each fourth Thursday of the month at noon at the Government Center, 222 Pine Ave.

Comments

Amazed2 1 year, 7 months ago

Yea right "Its Going to be Safe" dont worry. Now if the Police have this power then why in the Heck have they not used it before. Kind of a bold and unrealistic statement by Chief Proctor.

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Jacob 1 year, 7 months ago

Really Chief? There will be zero tolerance for what is not tolerated?

Have you hired #34 to write your public statements for you? Newsflash for Albany. The police are reactive, not proactive. They are minutes away when seconds count. Your personal safety is too important to rely on what passes for law enforcement in this town.

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Pastor 1 year, 7 months ago

At any point time we can stop crime by passing effective laws and then enforce them. The laws are not for the lawful but the lawless. In the eyes of certain individuals crime is necessary; just as well as poverty. There is prosperity in ignorance and poverty. Support law enforcement. Give them your voice instead of just your ear.

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waltspecht 1 year, 7 months ago

You don't have to pass effective laws, simply enforce those already on the books. Go for maximum sentences. I believe if you look at the records of those arrested, and the one killed, they should all have been in jail, but weren't. This is what lenient sentencing does, and the contempt it breeds. All those charged with Felon in possession of a gun really had no fear of getting caught with one, did they?

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ontario1966 1 year, 7 months ago

For Albany and any other law Inforcement to say they will keep us safe? Is a total lie! They can't even stop what is happening right in front of them! Albany is nothing but a murder Capitol!

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bigbob 1 year, 7 months ago

Buy a gun & learn how to use it. That is the only way you will be somewhat safe around here.

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rightasrain 1 year, 7 months ago

Lock 'N Load folks; it's time to "protect your own". While waiting on the APD to come to your aid, go ahead and call the funeral director of your choice. Years ago, an APD officer told me that "if you expect to be protected in Albany, get a gun."

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bubbavet 1 year, 7 months ago

They can't even protect themselves much less the residence. S. O. S. Why not wait for Obuma to make his cure all speech, then we will all feel good and safe.

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Amazed2 1 year, 7 months ago

At one point the Albany Police Department wad locking the front doors late night. Not sure if Chief Proctor has that policy or not??

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