Augusta, Ga. (WJBF)- The Richmond County Sheriff’s office has noticed a slight increase in homicides up five this year in comparison to last year. However it’s within the violent crimes division that deputies say they want to reduce those numbers but they’ll need the communities help to do so. Sergeant Michael McDaniel says 90-95% of the violent crimes and homicides cases were solved through tips from residents in the community.
“The public needs to realize that the violence is a public health concern, it’s something that involves not just the Sheriff’s office but the public in general. The more people that get involved to combat this violence or to bring awareness to the public of the violence, the more tools we’re going to have in our belt to bring the violent crimes down some.” McDaniel said.
There were a total of 25 homicides so far in Richmond county this year but thatch still down compared to five years ago. A string of robberies targeting local businesses, contributed towards an increase in violent crimes. Deputies have gone door to door in residential neighborhoods and local businesses handing out fliers seeking any information on suspects involved. Some residents however still say there’s a distrust amongst the community and the police.
Jerry Riley says he believes in the Sheriff’s initiative of community policing and hopes it will make their neighborhoods a lot safer.
“If we give them respect, they give us respect and they get more help. I would like to see more patrolling because there’s a lot of things going on in the community that if we don’t speak up nothing will happen if we don’t talk.” Riley said.
Sheriff Roundtree’s goal for next year to reduce the number of violent crimes is to continue to be more transparent with the community. The number of violent crimes are available to the public on the sheriff’s office website. you can also view a crime map of the recent crimes committed in your area