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A deadly year

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There was a small ray of hope last week in an otherwise grim year for violent crime in Augusta.

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Investigators talk at the entrance to woods where two people were found dead from gun shot wounds to the head, across from Glenn Hills Middle School, Monday, July 5, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Investigators talk at the entrance to woods where two people were found dead from gun shot wounds to the head, across from Glenn Hills Middle School, Monday, July 5, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.


In December, not one local person was stabbed, shot, choked or otherwise killed by a fellow citizen -- the first quiet month all year.

Local police officers don't know why the killing stopped for 31 days; neither do public officials. All they can say for sure is that for one relatively calm month, everyone got lucky.

With 38 people dead, 2010 ranked as one of the worst years for homicides in Augusta for more than a decade, according to records kept by The Chronicle. Month by month, the homicides kept coming. They peaked in July, when Eric Phillips and David Lee Johnson were both killed on the same day, July 21, in separate incidents about seven miles apart. In all, eight people were killed in July.

"I don't have answers for it," Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten said when asked about the increase in homicides.

Although investigators are still searching for the reason in some cases, most are clear.

- In 2010, most people were killed during an armed robbery or some type of argument -- be it with their kin, a friend or a rival gang member.

- Most were shot with a handgun.

- The majority of the victims, and those arrested for the crimes, were black males.

- The suspects ranged in age from 15 to 54 years old, but most of them were in their late teens and 20s.

But there are aberrations.

Dr. Henry Wright Bailey, an 84-year-old retired general surgeon, suffocated his wife with a plastic bag in what police called a "mercy killing" to end her suffering from dementia. There also was the violent shaking death of 3-month-old Corduray Keith Scott Jr. by his 21-year-old father -- the first homicide of the year.

Homicides are typically crimes of passion, which makes them difficult to predict, Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength said.

There are indicators, though.

In November, Xavier Anderson, 16, was shot in the head outside a Wheeler Road apartment complex. Residents said that gunshots were common in the area and that gang violence had been escalating in recent weeks.

Xavier survived the shooting, but could an increased patrol presence in that area have prevented the violence? What about more crime prevention programs, such as gun buybacks?

Strength said patrols are among the main tools law enforcement relies on to target a troubled area; he finds gun buyback programs less promising.

"The more officers on the street, that's absolutely going to have an effect," he said. "But that's not going to happen in this economy."

The sheriff's department is facing a budget cut of $750,000 in 2011. Its proposed budget is roughly $56 million, which includes operations at both the Walton Way jail and Charles B. Webster Detention Center on Phinizy Road. Strength said the decrease will not affect the number of deputies on the street. He plans to create savings by reducing the number of nonviolent, nonrepeat offenders in the jails; purchasing fewer new uniforms; and conserving gasoline in patrol cars.

"We've been very fortunate we have not had to take officers off the street, but we do not foresee additional money for additional personnel," he said.

Certain programs can make a difference, but they take time, Mayor Deke Copenhaver said.

On Dec. 21, the inaugural class of the Augusta Judicial Circuit's drug court graduated after two years of weekly treatment, court supervision, nightly curfews and random drug tests. It was an important step in turning people from criminals into productive members of the community, Copenhaver said, but it took a lot of work and time from organizers such as Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard and the District Attorney's Office.

"That's one of the proactive things we are doing, but you're not going to stop this type stuff overnight," he said.

Unsolved cases

The high homicide number has created another problem: more unsolved cases.

The sheer volume of homicide cases limits the time sheriff's investigators can spend on each case, and a lack of evidence and community support can tie their hands.

There are now eight unsolved cases with a total of 10 victims.

Some, including the April 30 shooting death of 17-year-old Jasmin Hollins inside a home on 11th Street, are closer to being cracked than others.

Sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles said the day before Hollins' death was the birthday of Renardo Newton, who was killed in a 2003 shooting after a fight. Investigators suspect the Hollins shooting was retaliation for Newton's death, with the gunmen firing at people in the area of 11th Street because it was the neighborhood where they suspected his shooter had lived.

"They just happen to be who these individuals were taking it out on that particular day," Peebles said. "Frankly, we expect to make multiple arrests in that case."

Other cases are running cold, such as the shooting deaths of Jeramie Hammonds, 20, and Kayla Marie Wells, 19, whose bullet-ridden bodies were found on a wooded trail near Glenn Hills Drive on July 5.

Maj. Ken Autry said the small amount of evidence collected at the scene of some of the killings has hindered their progress.

"We've had a number where there just wasn't a whole lot there," said Autry, who oversees the sheriff's department criminal investigations division.

He blamed some of the unsolved cases on a lack of help from the community. Often, people living in the neighborhoods where violence happens have been the key to solving old cases. That wasn't the case this year, Autry said.

As for 2011, Autry said he is not hopeful things will change.

"We all use Jan. 1 as a benchmark; we start over," Autry said. "But whatever is going on to cause all this is not going to just go away on Jan. 1."

Staff Writer Kyle Martin contributed to this story.


View 2010 Murders in Augusta in a larger map


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usapatriot
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usapatriot 01/02/11 - 03:16 am
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$ 56 million of tax payers

$ 56 million of tax payers dollars going mostly to guard against under educated, undisciplined, ill raised, throw away youth and young adults. this is costing you ARC. $56 million!!

think about this. Iraq, Afghan. USA wants locals there and Muslims worldwide to ferret out radicals and terrorists. We think that there are "peaceful" muslims that will turn in that radical "1 %". Isn't that right, liberals? Islam is a religion of peace? It's only corrupted by a few?

Well, swallow this. Over 50% of violent crime and murder is being committed by the 12% of the US population that is black. Are we calling for the black community to do something about this?

I believe in many cases, visible and not, that it is. Is it making a difference? I think not. The bad numbers keep increasing. More black babies out of wedlock, more black committed murders, more blacks murdered and assaulted by blacks.

Don't get me wrong, folks, whites, hispanics, asians and others commit crimes too. Those ethnic groups can no more "reign in" their own than the black community can. Whether crime is indigenous to a race, I'll leave that up to science.

I realize the difference in race, ethnicity and religion. Islam is a religion, not a race, just as Judahism is religion, not a race.

My point is, how can we expect Muslims to police their own when that very same ideal does not work here?

As a former Army intelligence analyst, I can tell you that the line "Muslims need to police their own" is a crock. Look no farther than our own back yard to see that.

bclicious
770
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bclicious 01/02/11 - 04:33 am
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I guess this story kinda

I guess this story kinda beats the crap out of any argument that violent crime fell in Augusta in 2010.

Riverman1
94247
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Riverman1 01/02/11 - 08:25 am
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First off, we've recognized

First off, we've recognized the large number of murders for the horrific problem it IS. Although Dec. was quiet, the murders won't suddenly stop with 2011. Those who feel it's only black gangs killing each other should realize the city is predominantly black and the violence affects all of us.

During prohibition when gang murders were common, do you think the decent citizens felt any better because "they only killed each other"? Strength is reluctantly and slowly coming around to increasing the police presence in the areas that are affected most and it is a step in the right direction.

I am going to say this once again. The police need to be among the population they serve which happens to be the predominantly poor black population. They have to be building inroads with the people, being role models and preventing crime as much as they arrest people. That concept will reduce the violence and crime. There is NO OTHER WAY.

The drug courts are a back door way to decriminalize drug crimes and that's a good thing because it decreases the importance of the drug gangs, gets people off drugs and decreases crime necessary to support the habit. We should take drug crime a step further, but that's for another discussion.

Lastly, I could not agree more with Ronnie Strength about his reluctance to have another program to buy back weapons. When some in the media raved about Operation Augusta Ink, the last buyback sting, what actually happened was that bad guys were going out stealing more to obtain guns to sell. Crime increased.

We have a serious problem and are just beginning to aim our resources in the right direction.

chadwick323i
48
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chadwick323i 01/02/11 - 08:17 am
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First 48, lets make Augusta

First 48, lets make Augusta one of your new locations!!

hamrg
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hamrg 01/02/11 - 08:25 am
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Observations - A year in

Observations - A year in Augusta: Social Research

38 murders divided by 190,746 population (http://www.trueknowledge.com/q/what_is_the_population_of_augusta_in_2010) x 1000 = .199 per 1000 population homicide rate or murders per capita (1000).

Murders (per capita) statistics rank by country:

# 1 Colombia: 0.617847 per 1,000 people
# 2 South Africa: 0.496008 per 1,000 people
# 3 Jamaica: 0.324196 per 1,000 people
# 4 Venezuela: 0.316138 per 1,000 people
# 5 Russia: 0.201534 per 1,000 people
# 6 Mexico: 0.130213 per 1,000 people
(Source: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita)

Augusta,GA: 0.199 per 1,000 people

Number of Police Ranked most recent by country:
# 1 India: 1,032,960 (Population 1 billion)
# 2 United States: 941,139 (Population 308 Million)
# 3 Mexico: 495,821

Prisoners per capita Ranked most recent by country:

# 1 United States: 715 per 100,000 people
# 2 Russia: 584 per 100,000 people
# 3 Belarus: 554 per 100,000 people

GA: 1,021 prisoners per 100,000 people (http://www.ktvu.com/news/9254885/detail.html)

Last week was a typical week for me in Augusta: Two young men asked me to spare some cigarettes, one young woman asked me for 5 bucks, an older man saw me carrying a bag and asked if I had any food to spare, and one young man asked me if I knew of a clinic where he could get free medical care. Last spring, my 47 inch TV and a laptop were stolen from my apartment. Detective took the report. Haven't heard from him since.

Year ago, stopped and gave a man a lift. He asked me if I could help him with food. I took him to Waffle House and we had burgers and on the way home an MCG officer pulled me over and said who is that guy with you and what is he doing in your car? I said I don't know him I was just giving him a ride and a meal. After the body search, the car search, and the questions about buying drugs etc., etc., I got a ticket for running a red light near 15th street. The man I had helped had just decided to leave rather than wait around for the officers to finish with me. He took my cell phone with him.

Year ago, walking down Broad after about 6 beers over four hours, a delicious meal, and feeling good to be back in America, looking for something to do. Entered a place with loud music couldn't hear what the person was asking me in the foyer (hard of hearing) an officer grabbed me by the arm, pushed me outside and said are you a trouble maker? Of course I was looking at him like a deer in the headlights and stuttering, he handcuffed me, put me in his car, and took my license and called someone. After about 5 minutes, he said get out and leave before I take you to jail for disorderly conduct. I ran across the street and got a taxi and got out of there fast.

Last Summer, helped a young woman with a kid look for an apartment. Was pulled over and asked what I was doing. I explained what I was doing to help the girl and one hour later, four patrol cars, a full body pat down, and a after complete vehicle search I got a ticket for a headlight not working (it was dismissed). We did complete the mission though, she did get an affordable place and fortunately the baby wasn't frightened because he slept through the whole thing in his car seat.

In the past year in the CSRA, one person I know was arrested and jailed for shop lifting a blouse to wear to a party, one was arrested and jailed for finding a wallet and keeping the money and not turning it in (theft by finding), one was arrested and jailed for disorderly conduct for hitting a man who stuck his hand up her leg in a club and one was raped. I was arrested and jailed for declining to blow in a tube.

I spent most of my life on the edges of the empire leading young people and helping third world nations to establish civil society and rule of law. Change the language here from English and... the inference is clear.

The Goths fleeing the Huns and starvation in 376 AD asked Emperor Valens for refuge. Valens seeing a ready source of new recruits for the Legions settled them in refugee camps near the Danube. The camp governors kept the food sent from Rome and starved the Goths. Some camp governors forced the Goths to trade family members into slavery in exchange for dog meat. (I can’t find the reference, but one historian stated that most Romans were unaware of this crime.) The Goths, led by Fritigern, preferring death in battle to death by starvation, revolted and in 378 AD, utterly slaughtered the Roman Army and Emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople shocking the world and forcing Rome to settle on unfavorable terms. (Jordannes: The Origins and Deeds of the Goths, XXVI, 134-138) By 410 AD, Rome was so demoralized and weak that it was unable to field an army, and Aleric leading the Visigoths sacked the city marking the end of western civil progress for nearly 900 years.

To Americans who are placing a premium on order over justice, because the system is still providing well for you, I submit that you will have neither order nor provision. The first class and the economy passenger both die in a plane crash; the only difference is the first class dies with a full belly and more pillows, and the economy dies with cramped legs, a full bladder, next to a giant man with bad breath.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/02/11 - 08:45 am
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Hamrg, what a beautiful,

Hamrg, what a beautiful, stream of consciousness post. I loved it. I will give you one point about your statistics for Augusta. If you only count the old city area, the true city part of Augusta Richmond Cty with its 44,000 population and the murders committed there, you will see the statistics are much worse than you thought.

Austin Rhodes
3002
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Austin Rhodes 01/02/11 - 09:22 am
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As I pointed out on the radio

As I pointed out on the radio show last Thursday, the true murder toll in Augusta for 2010 is 36. James Thomas Mills was killed in 2001...his body was discovered this year...he should be removed from the total, as well as William Easter, who died in his Greene Street apartment from what the authorities now know was an accident due to a likely seizure.

I have a detailed article coming out based on the information I broadcast last Thursday, soon.

fred1
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fred1 01/02/11 - 09:23 am
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There is no context in this

There is no context in this story as it relates to how much worse or not worse the 38 murders are compared to the past numbers. I think it was much higher in the early to mid 80s. Is this contextual information too hard to dig up? TV stations are guilty of the same, frequent lack of context. Are things worse or, using a favorite media word, just shocking.

belle
311
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belle 01/02/11 - 10:00 am
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Lust, greed and drugs aside,
Unpublished

Lust, greed and drugs aside, murders will continue at this rate until we begin to teach our children that they are of value. They cannot value another humans life if they do not value their own. In the case of the Mo Money murder, the criminal has a fan base. All moaning how they miss this "great guy" who shot someone in cold blood just to take the man's hard earned money to pay for his drugs. They don't mourn the murdered man.

Austin Rhodes
3002
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Austin Rhodes 01/02/11 - 10:06 am
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The context is coming...and

The context is coming...and it is startling. I spent about 2 and a half hours going over every single murder in detail on the air last Thursday. The info was so interesting, I decided to write it all out for a publication to make sure it will be in a form that will hang around for a while...great conversation starter...

hamrg
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hamrg 01/02/11 - 10:19 am
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Thanks Riverman, I wish the

Thanks Riverman,

I wish the police officers and others could band together and open a free GED service over here in Harrisburg. There are lots of abandoned buildings that could be converted. Nearly everyone I've met over here this past year has no diploma, no drivers license, no birth cert, no SS card, etc. Of course there are other sociological factors affecting crime rates, beyond education needs, but something similar in effect to Judge Blanchard's outreach could improve community support for police as peace officers vice suspicion of law enforcement officers. Right now, it seems to be an us against them attitude on all sides. I have watched people who are fierce and combative in their public persona sobbing in private and saying, "I feel like I'm just nothing." The service at Augusta Tech is too far away, and the one downtown is intermittent and not staffed with enough people to provide extra help.

I'd do it if I were staying, but I applied to the ASU Psychology Master's Counseling Program hoping to specialize in working with Vets with PTSD, and was turned down for lacking two classes in my undergrad Psych degree. I had a 1240 GRE, a 3.78 GPA in my BS, and a 4.0 in my Master's in International Relations degree courses. I took it as a sign from above that I'm supposed to look elsewhere for my place. I'm moving overseas in March.

Regards,
Ron
Ron

blues550
380
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blues550 01/02/11 - 10:21 am
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While the loss of any life is
Unpublished

While the loss of any life is tragic, it is obvious where the overwheming number took place. Wonder how many had prior felonies on their records.

Austin Rhodes
3002
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Austin Rhodes 01/02/11 - 10:36 am
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The Reader's Digest version

The Reader's Digest version of the "context"...if you can avoid crazy friends and spouses...and stay away from gangs and drugs...the chances you will be murdered in Augusta are very, very slim. Less than 10% of the victims in 2010 were hit "from out of no where", the others were either killed by those very close to them, or, were up to no good at dangerous times and places.

No amount of increased police presence, within logical sense, will stop those types of killings.

Keeping known criminals in jail longer, or permanently, is the answer.

Riverman1
94247
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Riverman1 01/02/11 - 11:01 am
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Austin, that's where you are

Austin, that's where you are wrong. An increased police INVOLVEMENT in the community where the most problems occur will help. It's a matter of building cooperation between the citizens and police.

The people have to be friends with the police and trust them. If the community supports the police and is involved with matters, crime will decrease. The police BELONG to the community.

Cooperation between the people and police can help decrease all forms of violence including gangs and family. When a family is having problems and someone can tell the policeman in the neighborhood to pay them a visit, that family may avoid a tragic end.

You imply it's the problem of the people and the police can't do anything to increase the cooperation? Scott Peebles basically said the same thing on your show when AB hosted. That's a monumental misunderstanding of what the police should be doing.

You have to tailor your law enforcement methods and procedures to the situation. The old city portion of Augusta is a predominantly poor black, crime ridden population. The police have to serve that community and BE ONE with them.

Austin Rhodes
3002
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Austin Rhodes 01/02/11 - 11:16 am
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Where does this Cum-BAH- YA

Where does this Cum-BAH- YA stuff work, RM? Name the place. Wake up and smell the coffee...when you read the case by case summary next week...you tell me where a cop hugging a thug would have stopped something.

...and if it comes to believing the collective law enforcement leadership of the entire CSRA (who agree with me on this) or Riverman...who has the credibility and the professional understanding to call this thing straight?

Riverman1
94247
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Riverman1 01/02/11 - 11:32 am
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As I've said before,

As I've said before, Charleston hired a black police chief who went among the people daily in his civilian clothes and basically had the philosophy that his officers should build friendships with the people as his method of law enforcement. The crime rates drastically decreased.

What you are saying is there are two Augusta's...one white and one poor black where the crimes occur. I don't doubt that one bit, but the fact is Augusta is predominantly black and the police emphasis should be in that population if you want to decrease the violence. If you simply want to write off that part of the population, the majority, then continue along your merry way.

Do you think in a TX border town they say it's just the poor Mexicans killing each other and play it down?

Of course law enforcement around here thinks you should drive fast through those communities with the doors locked and only open your window to throw out a cigarette. That attitude has to be changed. That's one of the reasons I've called for a black sheriff to be elected in the past. You simply can't ignore the crime statistics because the majority of the culprits are poor blacks. Stopping crimes among the blacks keeps whites safer, too, is the truth.

Riverman1
94247
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Riverman1 01/02/11 - 11:36 am
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By the way, according to

By the way, according to recent comments by Strength, he is starting to move more officers into the old city area where most of the crime occurs.

User420
2
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User420 01/02/11 - 12:52 pm
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I don't trust Richmond

I don't trust Richmond county. They use the good ole' boy system. If you know a cop or are related to a cop...you get off. If your family knows a judge then you can kill a 17 year old girl and hardly any investigation will be done and it will be ruled a suicide. Likewise if you're rich they'll let you off. I think we should work on the corruption in this town. Averages Joes like myself don't trust the police and it's because we've witnessed the corruption firsthand. If someone walked up behind me right now and beat the crap of me I still wouldn't call Richmond county because I wouldn't trust them to do their jobs. Work on corruption within your own ranks, stop letting people who know cops, judges, etc to get off, stop letting people with money get off, and treat EVERYONE no matter how rich or poor they are with the same respect and rules....

Police departments do themselves no favors with the public by treating policemen or family members with preferential treatment. As a middle class, twenty-something white girl, I no longer trust the police and I know many other people who feel the same way. Police, when you lose the middle class you have lost it all...

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 01/02/11 - 02:32 pm
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To make anything better, we

To make anything better, we have to give up the idea of being either all right or all wrong. There is always more than one path available to improving our community or any other situation.

Austin is correct when he says that we all have a personal responsibility in helping to keep ourselves and family safe through our own choices of when, where and with whom we interact, using wisdom and discernment.

Riverman also makes a good point about the increased presence of the police force in the known areas of crime. It wouldn't end crime, but it couldn't help having a favorable influence. Also, to add to his ideas we might want to think along the lines of community involvement and school support/mentor groups...such as a "big brother program", with police officers, youth pastors, athletes, and other community men building relationships with young men before they get sucked into all of the dysfunction.

We need to start thinking progress through small steps and a variety of answers, instead of one way perfection. When we think so one - sided, and treat each other so disrespectfully, we become discouraged and see everything as hopeless and impossible. People don't want to become involved because it isn't inspiring. It's just too easy to give up when we look for the perfect solution.

If even 10% of our community gave of themselves, not just money, or talk, but actually rolled up their sleeves and took the time to develope long term relationships with others in need, what a wonderful place this would be to live. Change isn't over night; it's a life time journey. One that someone else begins and hands off to a new generation. Most of us have not been called to do great things, but all of us have been called to do some things and to be something.

Lori Davis
1006
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Lori Davis 01/02/11 - 02:51 pm
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As long as our children grow

As long as our children grow up in certain neighborhoods where everything criminal seems normal because of the lack of police intervention, we will continue to raise new generations of those who perpetuate the problem. In Harrisburg, men drink openly on the streets, prostitutes are picked up on main thoroughfares in broad daylight, and children riding bikes are not made to wear helmets. This is where a lot of the problem starts. Respect for the law and our laws should begin early in the life of our children. If these behaviors are not corrected by law enforcement on a daily basis, the child sees it as a normal existence plain and simple. Why do we pick and choose the neighborhoods that win and those that lose?

dougk
3
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dougk 01/02/11 - 02:51 pm
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I could not agree more with
Unpublished

I could not agree more with each point. Well done, Willow Bailey.

Sweet son
11762
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Sweet son 01/02/11 - 04:32 pm
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dougk and willow have it

dougk and willow have it right. River you just want the "govment" to handle everything. Everything that causes problematic people starts at a young age at HOME. Children will never be up to the task of life when they are raised in environments where no respect is taught for anyone. As the song goes "it's all about me". I try never to speak in the first person unless it is MY underwear. When I grew up everything in our household was "ours" and I still operate under that same philisophy.

Murders as the sheriff said are "crimes of passion" that cannot be predicted. We need to work on the little things that contribute to all kinds of criminal activity.

CorporalGripweed
0
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CorporalGripweed 01/02/11 - 06:21 pm
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I agree that murders can't be

I agree that murders can't be predicted. But the sheriff (and his supporters) are wrong when they attempt to excuse the RCSO's notorious lack of enforcement of the "little" things that lead to bigger crimes. Lori Davis is correct when she says most deputies in Harrisburg (and other affected neighborhoods) turn a blind eye to smaller infractions (drinking in public, etc.)These are the actions that if not stopped, lead to larger crimes.
And Sweet, I also agree that respect must be taught at home. But when it isn't then it IS the "govments" job to protect the rest of us.We don't want the "govment" to "do everything". But we do expect the "govment" to do their best to protect us.
It's my opinion that the current sheriff is a good man, but a poor leader.We all know that when someone runs a tight ship, slackness is not tolerated.And I believe much slackness is being tolerated within the ranks of the RCSO. And until the sheriff is replaced I predict more of the same.

Riverman1
94247
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Riverman1 01/02/11 - 06:50 pm
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Sweet Son, I also want the

Sweet Son, I also want the people to take responsibility. I want police officers among them where the people trust and support officers when they slap a hoodlum beside the head. Building relationships with the public could actually result in a tougher police presence.

Here is what I disagree with. That's the attitude that because they are killing each other and the crime is there, we should feel things are not so bad. There comes a blurring of the lines and the crime won't stay there. We see that in Lori Davis' border neighborhood of Harrisburg where the decent people meet the thugs every day. That border situation is going to spread to other neighborhoods if crime in Augusta isn't brought under control.

Over half of Augusta is black. Are the police to ignore half of Augusta? Are you willing to write that part of the population off? Are you confident the crime won't come to the other neighborhoods?

azgaus
0
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azgaus 01/02/11 - 08:58 pm
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hamrg- loved your post

hamrg- loved your post because it affirms what I've learned about the rough side of life. Discipline and passion in the face of fear is powerful. Thugs and police hate it because its not the way of the average person. Knowing and believing there is someone not of this earth that is ultimately in charge gives one the confidence to walk anywhere and it speaks volumes to those living in fear. Problem with having a job like a police officer for a paycheck and security is that you can't be trained to act fearless if you are fearful of losing your life. We live in a fallen world but Jesus said he came that we might have an abundant life(in a fallen world). When I was livin like a thug I hung out with and surrounded myself with like minded people. I left the "thug life" when I came face to face with my inability to protect my children, the pain was worse than the fear so I made a decision to change the way I acted and found that it required a change in thinking. I didn't go to the police or the goverment, my family was living the same way I was-I went to the church around the corner and I found something worth fighting for. I try to smile at all young people knowing what could be in their future. And when I find those that have no hope I try to share the hope that I have, but it means investing your time & resources. You can live in a dark world without being overcome by it, as long as you don't step over, look away from or walk on the other side of the road of those that are being overcome by the darkness. We the people have to live as Good Samaritians apart from the police and government to see a change in our communities. It can be a shock when you finally get outside your comfort zone to help someone and find out people are not patting you on the back but many times you have to fight a lot of opposition so thank-you for sharing your struggles.

bclicious
770
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bclicious 01/03/11 - 07:43 am
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I think that community

I think that community policing can work, but only if the citizens, the police, and the politicians all work the program.

dani
13
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dani 01/03/11 - 11:01 am
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And I think that our law

And I think that our law enforcement should take this a bit more seriously. The sheriff I've heard is a good man, but he doesn't see it as a big deal.

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 01/03/11 - 01:36 pm
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Kudos to azgaus for sharing

Kudos to azgaus for sharing his story. He sounds like a man who has risen above his circumstances through the help of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Carolyn Moore tells the story well in a recent article of what can happen when just ONE person invests in another's life. Particularly, when that investment is first empowered by God, has the right motivation, and is patient, kind and consistent. Nothing can happen until we are willing to step out of our comfort zone and allow ourselves to be used by God. We don't have to be anything special, just willing and available. Just a tiny step, makes an unbelievable difference; not only in someone else's life but in our lives. We become more when we are willing to give out of a relationship investment with others.
Our circumstances do not define us, our position in Christ does.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/life/your-faith/2010-12-31/light-shines-dar...

reba530
65
Points
reba530 01/03/11 - 08:37 pm
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0
Riverman1 they would not be
Unpublished

Riverman1 they would not be from a poor community if they would get their butts out there and get what you call a JOB!!!! everyone has to work this day and time..nothing is free in life..so stop playing that race card... i know where there is alot of poor white people too..so what about them buddy?????

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 01/03/11 - 11:08 pm
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corporal.. unfortunately this

corporal.. unfortunately this is Augusta, and its not about doing what's right or what works best but doing what always has been done. Strength will not be replaced. He is a good ole boy, a remnant of the old southside mafia, he has the right friends in the right places who hold the levers of power structure that rules Augusta. As we have seen in the recent elections, these people almost always get reelected.. most Augusta voters are just too apathetic or too ill-informed to care or know what is actually happening around them. They are easily manipulated, and the lazy local media, which, for the exception of a few actors, abdicates its responsibility to keep the public informed. Mayor Guiliani and his police chiefs understood that these smaller crimes lead to bigger crimes. They understood that blight and the negative social behaviors enumerated in your post creates a breeding ground for larger crime. Guiliani cleaned up Times Square and many other parts of NYC, by cracking down on slum lords, public drunkennes, prostitution, etc, drug dealers etc.. and it had a dramatic effect. Now, granted, NYC did have a higher than normal murder rate than it has had in recent years.. but still NYC is considered one of the safest big cities.. the turnaround from the late 80s and early 90s is dramatic. I expect nothing to change in Augusta. The words change and Augusta are antonyms.

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