The Governor’s Office recently released statistics saying crime was down overall, across the state. Combating crime in Capital Region hotspots is something community groups and police departments are working on tackling together.
Raquel Jennings is a mother of four young children and told NEWS10 she feels relatively safe in her neighborhood. However, she and others don’t believe the crime picture is what the governor painted.
“I don’t watch the news too much. I don’t watch TV. But, word of mouth, I don’t think it’s down as much as they say it is,” said Jennings.
Bishop Avery Comithier with Pastors on Patrol, a community watch group in Albany, says he wants to reach those in the hotspot neighborhoods. He says his group is ready to do more to help people feel safer. “They want to walk out their doors knowing there is this presence. And so, Pastors on Patrol brings that presence when we go out throughout every neighborhood and cover areas that people want to feel secure.”
He told NEWS10 that communities need to learn how to come together again and get to know each other. “The know-how of maintaining their area what to look out for know your surroundings know what is going on in yourself who’s who it used to be in the old days everybody I think there was a TV show called Cheers and the theme was everybody knows your name,” said Comithier.
Jennings echoes the bishop’s words, “People know us, so they see our children and we can feel a little safer about their surroundings. If we’re not around or when we are around, we know the folks around here.”
Comithier says that he has been working closely with Albany Police Chief, Eric Hawkins, and tells me they could soon be getting vehicles to help them get to troubled areas quicker. “They have two units that they have not been used in a long time, so we want to resurrect so to speak those units.”
A spokesperson with the Albany Police Department says the department is assessing the feasibility of those vehicles.