Despite several heinous crimes we've reported on this year, the murder rate is actually down in Richmond County. Way down.
News Channel 6 Crime Tracker Jillian Benfield digs deeper into those numbers…
The Sheriff's Office credits the lower rate to community policing.
They believe that's the main reason because deputies are out of their cars more and getting to know neighbors on their beats.
And they say that coupled with good investigative work means fewer murder victims in Richmond County.
Even as a child, Investigator Chris Langford liked to play detective.
His favorite games involved finding clues to solve mysteries.
Today, he has real-life cases to find the answers to stacked on his desk, “to me each case is a big puzzle and I I've got to find all the pieces and put the pieces together.”
Langford has been part of the two-man homicide team for Richmond County for the past 2 years. The resolution rate since he and Sgt. Bill Leisey took over is up…they had an 88% success rate last year, “I will talk to anybody and everybody that has anything to do with the case to get to the end result.”
Lt. Calvin Chew believes the homicide team's persistence coupled with the Sheriff's Office's community policing model is the reason behind fewer murders this year, “us being in the the neighborhoods, I think that directly is helping the homicide rate to be down.”
By June of Last Year 16 people were murdered in Richmond County…that's more than double this years rate. Lt. Chew says with deputies getting out of their cars and talking to neighbors…they are earning the community's trust…and therefore getting more tips, Jillian, “Does that mean Richmond County is a safer place?”, Lt. Chew, ” absolutely.”
Langford says they intend to keep it that way, “eventually we will find you.”
So far, Investigators have 1 unsolved murder this year.