Crime & Courts

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Leaders target Augusta crime

Hope key, NAACP president says

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As Augusta emerges from its deadliest year in more than a decade, civic leaders are offering ideas to prevent a repeat of 2010's 37 homicides.

Community involvement has gotten a boost through a crime watch grant, and there are calls for a citizen-based crime task force in the city.

Ministers such as the Rev. Larry Fryer are pushing for faith-based initiatives to keep youths off the streets, and a memorial wall for the victims of violent crime is in the works.

The latest outcry comes from the Augusta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which dedicated Saturday's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade to the theme of "Stop the killings, stop the violence."

"A lot could be improved if we could find a mechanism of hope," said Charles Smith, the president of Augusta's NAACP chapter.

Crime has a lingering personal effect, and Smith proposes responding to it with a personal approach. After-school programs are a great place to start with young minds, but there should also be a way to mentor teenagers already on the road to a life of crime, Smith said.

From Smith's perspective, the key is to build self-worth and teach that crime doesn't pay.

Once in the "revolving door" of the jail, it's easy to get down and feel helpless and hopeless, Smith said. Mentors will provide accountability and encouragement.

"You lead by example," Smith said. "There are so many people who came from nowhere and went somewhere."

Smith acknowledges that not everyone is going to listen to a message of hope. He said it's important that mentors and community leaders stay focused and give it their best effort.

"You can't reach everybody, but you can try," he said.

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bettyboop
8
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bettyboop 01/16/11 - 08:45 am
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PARENTS are the reason and

PARENTS are the reason and PARENTS are the solution.

seenitB4
98779
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seenitB4 01/16/11 - 08:52 am
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When you have to work for

When you have to work for food & housing you just don't have time to rob & steal & kill......STOP the freebies & put them to work!
Any fool can see what we are doing now IS NOT WORKING.

BennyS
0
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BennyS 01/16/11 - 10:18 am
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even the working black

even the working black community agrees with you seenit84. The giveaway programs are killing a basic need to work and earn for their families.

seenitB4
98779
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seenitB4 01/16/11 - 10:21 am
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benny....I'm thinking of

benny....I'm thinking of moving back to csra....maybe run for office...:)

User420
2
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User420 01/16/11 - 12:58 pm
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Betty it's not always the

Betty it's not always the parents. Jeffery Dahmer was raised by loving parents and he still went on to become one this country's most prolific serial killers.

WW1949
19
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WW1949 01/16/11 - 01:21 pm
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User420 are you toking

User420 are you toking today. There are many more problems with teens and young adults to worry about and their crime rate is much higher than Dhalmers. Not to say that his was not important. You have a much greater chance in being in between a turf squabble in certain places because the parents do not "raise" their children because they either do not care or do not know how. Welfare and government programs bear alot of responsibility for this. They take away the feeling of self worth when the person has never worked for what they receive. They are slaves to a system that dooms most for a life of usefulness.

Lori Davis
1014
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Lori Davis 01/16/11 - 01:42 pm
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http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/ Th

http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/

This is a great website from the U.S. Dept. of Justice. This Department is advocating community policing and gives many examples of cities that have adopted this style and the difference that it is making. Scroll down and read about the VIPER program in Boca Raton. It is time for Augusta to move into the 21st Century. We can quibble over a few crime numbers one way or the other, but the truth remains. This city has HIGH crime and it needs to be addressed by those that we pay to keep us safe. When this happens, I believe that citizens will join in. If this does not happen, apathy will remain high and people will continue to leave Richmond County. We need a committment from law enforcement to do differently and to make the plan public.

augusta citizen
10075
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augusta citizen 01/16/11 - 02:07 pm
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I agree with Lori, I couldn't

I agree with Lori, I couldn't care less about the statistics of this crime category has dropped, while the other has risen. The crime is high (and yes, to some posters), I know it is high in many areas around the country. My concerns aren't about Detroit, or Chicago or Memphis. I care about the CSRA's crime rates first and foremost. I'm glad to see the articles on the AC today headlining how we will fight crime. I'm surprised the AC hasn't put up anything about the officer who shot the crowbar welding crook last night. It's been on WRDW all day. I'm afraid that the only reason for the respite in crime over the last few weeks was the weather, etc. I hope I'm wrong, but fear the crimes are about to jump again.

ProudToBeaCracker
0
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ProudToBeaCracker 01/16/11 - 04:13 pm
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Sentence all violent

Sentence all violent offenders, felony drug offenders, and burglars to an immediate death upon conviction and the problem will be solved in less than a year. If they can't contribute to society then take them out of society. And it will be a lot cheaper also.

Billyds999
17
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Billyds999 01/17/11 - 05:52 pm
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Glad to see the local chapter

Glad to see the local chapter of the NAACP trying to get involved. Dr. Smith, let our youth see successful people in the community on the sidewalks, in the neighborhoods that have not been involved with crime. Let them see that there is a chance - without crime. Let them see dads who are willing to be on the sidewalks - telling the little boy to shut up, pull up yo pants, respect your elders, tell them to tell the police who the crackhead was that was riding around shooting people up. Tell them "The man" riding through the neighborhood in the patrol car is there to try and keep you and your momma safe. Dr. Smith, tell them that people of all races are looking at the content of their heart, not at their skin color. Let our kids and youth see good examples, leaders, plain ole' people that are willing to do what it takes to be good mothers, fathers, uncles, aunties - that ain't gonna let the devil take over our neighborhoods!

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 01/17/11 - 05:53 pm
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Better watch that word
Unpublished

Better watch that word "target". The lefties will be "hunting" for you.

Riverman1
94467
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Riverman1 01/17/11 - 06:51 pm
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I suggest "Baby Doc" Duvalier

I suggest "Baby Doc" Duvalier come to Augusta and take over.

LynxRHot
0
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LynxRHot 01/18/11 - 03:36 pm
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user420....true it isn't

user420....true it isn't always the parents. However, if you look at statistics...I'm sure statistics would show that the majority of repeat offenders are people who came from either broken homes, or homes where no one cared, or where no one taught them the value of working to earn a living.

lifelongresident
1323
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lifelongresident 01/18/11 - 03:43 pm
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since augusta has a lot of
Unpublished

since augusta has a lot of land off of mike padgette, and they can't seem to attract any type of heavy industry that pays a decent wage, a 50,000 bed supermaxx prision sounds like part of the answer....build prisons bigger and more of them lock them up and institute a 2-3 strikes rule it's time the criminal element was locked up until they are dead or no longer pose a threat which ever comes LAST (usually it's death). the only reason the naacp crawled out from underneath their rock is to show their face on MLK JR day, the remaining 364 days they will be looking to protest the police rightfully shooting criminals while they are in the line of duty (in an attempt to make augusta safe), or protesting or screaming racism the next time someone or organization want to acquire a portion of the inner city for positive development as opposed to a dilapidated home left to fall down, become a magnet for crime, prostitution or rats, snakes and other vermin posing a genuine health hazard.

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