Augusta’s administrator and the Richmond County sheriff are expected to present a comprehensive plan to increase safety downtown at Monday’s meeting of the city’s public safety committee.
The plan, developed in response to the brutal May beating of an Edgefield couple and a Broad Street brawl viewed on YouTube, will “greatly bolster safety and the positive perception of Augusta’s downtown as a family-friendly destination,” according to the agenda.
No information on the plan was available Friday, including its cost, which was said to be “dependent on several factors that are being finalized.”
The sheriff’s office has another request going before the public safety committee Monday: the purchase of gang tracking and narcotics management modules for a new record-keeping software program.
The modules allow officers to track and search gang and narcotics-related intelligence, with a maximum $40,000 cost to implement and an additional $5,760 annual maintenance charge. The annual subscription cost for the entire program was $375,000 this year.
Commissioners on Monday could also address the growing length of committee sessions that sometimes keep residents waiting for hours to speak on minor items.
Going before each committee Monday is a motion to rotate the committee meeting schedule, placing the public services committee, where most alcohol and business licenses are approved, first at 12:45 p.m. The remaining four committees – administrative services, engineering services, finance and public safety – would rotate, going first alphabetically each month, according to Commissioner Mary Davis’ proposal.
Monday’s sessions will begin with a called legal meeting at noon.