AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- The recent arrest of several teens involved in the death of a Richmond County deputy has sparked the conversation about gun violence in the community.
The Sheriff’s “gun crime reduction” initiative will focus on teens and young adults who are illegally carrying firearms and using them to commit crimes and resolve their disputes.
So far this year there’s been a significant reduction of homicides in Richmond County. However, there’s been an increase in gun related assaults. The Sheriff’s office says it treats every assault as a potential homicide. The summer initiative will use every resource at their disposal to prevent these tragic deaths moving forward. Sheriff Richard Roundtree says Gun violence cannot be tolerated but it’ll take the community coming together.
“The times of almost everyone feeling the need to have a gun I think that’s the problem in our society. I don’t think the teens realize that once you’re in a possession of a firearm at some point you’re either going to be forced to use that firearm or you’re going to be killed just by being in possession of it because you’re not willing to use it. I don’t think they think it that far through,” Roundtree says.
Throughout the summer the RCSO will take an aggressive stance for teen violence by doing routine checks throughout troubled neighborhoods. They will also focus primarily on at-risk teens who’ve had problems in the past and previous involvement with law enforcement.
“We’re going to be going with our gang task force and our intelligence unit trying to identify groups that we feel might be potentially engaged in criminal behavior or retaliation towards another group. We’re going to be extremely aggressive with that, we’re not just going to sit back and wait on these kids to kill each other and react to it. We’re going to try and get to them before it even gets to that point,” Roundtree told NewsChannel 6.
If you know of a teen or young adult in possession of an illegal firearm you’re asked to call the Richmond county Sheriffs office at (706) 821-1000