For two days, 80 Richmond County sheriff’s deputies have combed Augusta streets looking for those who violated parole, dodged court appearances or failed to follow the guidelines of their probations.
Officials from several agencies joined the deputies in what they called Operation Community Impact.
By Thursday night, 50 people had been arrested and more arrests were expected today.
Sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said deputies left no stone unturned as they went to homes, work locations and hangouts looking for repeat offenders and those with active warrants for probation and parole violations.
The Georgia Department of Corrections, the parole board and the probation office assisted in the operation.
Beginning Wednesday, parole and probation teams from across the state moved into the sheriff’s office’s command center to assist in the three-day operation targeting 100 violators.
In 2011, the operation yielded 98 arrests – 13 percent higher than predicted – and Gay said hopes are high for this year.
On the first day, about 40 arrests were made, he said.
On Wednesday, the team focused on warrants; on Thursday, high-crime areas; and today, child support and other warrants.
“We know some of these violators are causing big problems in desolate areas. If we remove that element, the neighborhoods have a fighting chance,” Gay said.
Those who are arrested will immediately enter state custody and will be only temporarily housed locally.
“It’s a win-win for us,” he said. “We get them off the streets and don’t have to house them.”
There’s more court processing with such arrests.
With probation and parole officers on the scene at the time of the arrest, the officers can directly relay what they have seen to the judge.