Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Copenhaver's cash to help fight crime

  • Follow Crime & courts

Barely a week after Augusta closed a record deadly year, grass roots crime-fighting got a boost.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver: Augusta leader has set up a $1,000 grant to help form new crime watch groups across the city.   Rainier Ehrhardt/FILE
Rainier Ehrhardt/FILE
Mayor Deke Copenhaver: Augusta leader has set up a $1,000 grant to help form new crime watch groups across the city.


Mayor Deke Copenhaver has set up a grant with $1,000 of his own money, saying it would offset the start-up costs of new neighborhood watch groups. He also wants to help existing neighborhood groups continue to be vigilant.

Copenhaver said Thursday he was inspired by the community's generosity in past projects to raise money for Haiti and beautification projects in Augusta.

"I wanted to leverage that success," he said. "When you give this community an opportunity to give, people are very willing to do that."

The funds would be set up through the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area and dispensed through the Grants Committee. Applicants will give a description of their crime prevention efforts along with the benchmarks they expect to accomplish with the money.

Adam Hoover, the coordinator for Olde Town Neighborhood Association, welcomed the news.

While it's always free to ask your neighbor to watch your home, technology makes it easier to establish a crime watch, he said.

Olde Town's watch has a phone system that allows members to record a message and send it out to other members' phones within minutes. This lets people know, for instance, that police are on their way to handle a belligerent drunk on Broad Street or that a home was vandalized within the past few days on Telfair Street, Hoover said.

The phone service costs $300 a year for 100 households, a fee that's collected from members of the crime watch. Hoover pays for the association's Web site design and hosting fees because he views it as a tool for the crime watch.

Other technology in the works include cameras to collect evidence on nuisance properties and deter crime in problem areas. A donation from a church will soon allow the association to pay for off-duty deputies to cruise the area at random times.

The fund is still in its infancy, but Copenhaver expects that crime watches can start applying "very shortly."

Comments (14) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
93767
Points
Riverman1 01/06/11 - 07:49 pm
0
0
Well, I'll be doggone. Deke

Well, I'll be doggone. Deke steps up to the plate finally. Instead of ignoring the crime problem and trying to prevent the Chronicle from obtaining the 911 records, he is starting to move a little.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 01/06/11 - 08:00 pm
0
0
Well, from a cynical
Unpublished

Well, from a cynical perspective, he is offering a token in response to the flack he's been getting for up until now not acknowledging the Augusta crime problem and, at the same time, sending a message that the solution lies with the residents themselves, not the city government.

Riverman1
93767
Points
Riverman1 01/06/11 - 08:48 pm
0
0
Let's hope Deke will get

Let's hope Deke will get something going here. Goodness knows we have to try.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 01/06/11 - 09:05 pm
0
0
Well, there's a good deal of
Unpublished

Well, there's a good deal of literature on the effectiveness of neighborhood watch programs. The results are mixed...and success contingent on how well the strategies meet the needs of the specific neighborhoods, the strategies implemented, and the nature of the cooperation with local law enforement. I would hope that evaluative research is consulted.....but since he's leaving it up to the neighborhoods to do their own thing without a central organizational structure, it won't be.

Brad Owens
4906
Points
Brad Owens 01/07/11 - 03:23 am
0
0
What if your "neighbors" are

What if your "neighbors" are the problem? In Connifer Place I doubt there are the problems they have in The Bottom at the East end of downtown.

This is another weak attempt to look like your doing something.

Deke "Ironman" Copenhaver should spend more time working on getting the sheriff the funds he needs and less time planning media events with his "own money."

This is pathetic. 38 murders? In these troubled neighborhoods the gangs ARE the neighborhood watches.

Grow up Deke, this is really lousy but good press huh?

More like 'Idea stpoppers' than crime stoppers in Augusta,

Brad

P.S. We need more armed private security in RC.

Riverman1
93767
Points
Riverman1 01/07/11 - 07:32 am
0
0
Brad makes a good point. Deke

Brad makes a good point. Deke makes it a habit to point out he is using his own money often enough. He announced he wasn't accepting campaign contributions, he set up a Haiti fund with Dana Bedden that is to go on for decades (heh) and now he is putting up his own money to help fight crime. That's all well and fine, but a mayor has a bigger role than privately putting up money. He needs to lead, to galvanize county officials and the public to confront this crime problem. The truth is as with his Haiti fund a few bucks of your own money does nothing when the support of all of government is required. The donations poor Augustans made never reached the needy in Haiti due to the inefficiency of government is the truth. Is that same governmental inefficiency the problem in Augusta?

dougk
3
Points
dougk 01/07/11 - 07:56 am
0
0
I think you nailed it on the
Unpublished

I think you nailed it on the head, Riverman:

"He needs to lead, to galvanize county officials and the public to confront this crime problem."

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 01/07/11 - 08:10 am
0
0
If something isn't done ,,the

If something isn't done ,,the people (vigilanties) will take over ...the people have had enough on all levels..................

dougk
3
Points
dougk 01/07/11 - 08:35 am
0
0
Yes, bettyboop, you have a
Unpublished

Yes, bettyboop, you have a point. If you just take the spike in the number of homicides last year, there were "only" 38 people killed. But, it has made tens of thousands of people in the community more fearful. Although, in reality, this fear may be unfounded since it is unlikely that most people's risk of victimization has increased, the fear itself has consequences. For law enforcement, the mayor, and the city commissioners to say nothing can be done...only heightens the fear and makes it more likely that people will take the "law in their own hands." Particularly frightening in a subculture in which lethal violence appears to be acceptable for protecting one's property even in the absence of a threat of immediate bodily harm.

Riverman1
93767
Points
Riverman1 01/07/11 - 09:29 am
0
0
DougK, you have summarized it

DougK, you have summarized it well. This nothing can be done attitude is having the wrong effect in addition to not being true.

Lori Davis
1006
Points
Lori Davis 01/07/11 - 12:29 pm
0
0
Harrisburg has a wonderful

Harrisburg has a wonderful crime watch and it is the drug dealers. They have all of the technology to know when the police are coming. We do the best we can but have not had success with neighborhood watch only. Extra money to help with hiring a, "Harrisburg only after hours cop," would be very helpful. Just this week I called for an officer due to gunshots just outside my backdoor and was told that the shots were kids firing cap guns. Really? Didn't know they made cap pistols that sound that loud. Someone living in Harrisburg told him that's what it was.

Brad Owens
4906
Points
Brad Owens 01/07/11 - 01:16 pm
0
0
Don't worry Lori, Deke has

Don't worry Lori, Deke has formed a committee to take a look at coming up with a plan that must have a well explored list of possible options that doesn't cause anyone to feel singled out or bad about themselves or all the mega-developmets. They intend on meeting to come up with a list of items they need to set the agenda to structure the sub committees and prepare a regular meeting schedule so that the list can be researched by an outside consultancy to provide them options that can remain unfunded but shown as possible solutions to our non-existant crime problems.

Oh by the way, you won't be on that committee troublemaker.

Lori Davis
1006
Points
Lori Davis 01/07/11 - 02:00 pm
0
0
Brad, I have figured out

Brad, I have figured out that they don't like troublemakers or they will choose me so that I feel useful. In any event, I will continue to be a gadfly when necessary.

Navarro
31
Points
Navarro 01/07/11 - 02:36 pm
0
0
I bet the "bad guys" don't

I bet the "bad guys" don't cut their security budget.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 01/07/11 - 02:45 pm
0
0
Brad Owens wrote above: "What

Brad Owens wrote above: "What if your "neighbors" are the problem? .....This is pathetic. 38 murders? In these troubled neighborhoods the gangs ARE the neighborhood watches." I wrote something similar about neighborhood watches on a thread yesterday; I'm glad to see someone else who knows what is going on in Augusta and is not in denial about it. And you said it so well. Thank you!

noils
5
Points
noils 01/07/11 - 03:10 pm
0
0
I wonder why the Mayor has

I wonder why the Mayor has refused to join "Mayors Against ILLEGAL Guns"? The mayors of Atlanta and Savannah are members as are most in larger cities across America. The coalition is for Second Amendment rights and states "The issue of illegal guns is not conservative or liberal; it is an issue of law and order -- and life or death."

Why would Deke be opposed to joining a coalition against ILLEGAL guns even if much of their work is symbolic? He certainly hasn't shied away from symbolic events. Maybe he's afraid that the NRA will be mad at him for whatever reason.

http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org

Augustaboy
52
Points
Augustaboy 01/07/11 - 04:44 pm
0
0
Maybe all of you should have

Maybe all of you should have signed up as advisors. As for me, my gun is loaded and ready. At least we are moving in the right direction!

usapatriot
0
Points
usapatriot 01/07/11 - 07:03 pm
0
0
..and doug, it's not just my

..and doug, it's not just my privacy. It's yours and every other American.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 01/10/11 - 11:29 am
0
0
I bet if you get a copy of

I bet if you get a copy of the sheriffs calls and the 911 records you will find that the majority of the police calls are not in areas like Conifer, Country Club Hills, Tanglewood, Vineland or any of the neighborhoods that have a very large majority of the residents working. You will find the majority of calls are in the welfare Section 8 areas. Concentrate your police patrols in areas like that and maybe the crime will go down. Put an additional tax on the properties in the high crime areas to take care of the police calls. Most in those areas would not tell who the trouble makers are even if they knew.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Mayor's race historic, controversial

Hardie Davis is still waiting to take office after winning a mayoral race that featured no white candidates and saw one of his opponents drop out the day before the election.
Search Augusta jobs