Crime & Courts

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Targeted policing credited for Augusta crime drop

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Targeted community policing has led to a reduction in some Richmond County crimes during the first seven months of 2011, sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles said Monday.

Violent crimes, in particular, dropped. The number of homicides went down 36 percent, and aggravated assaults fell 23 percent, according to figures for the first seven months of the year.

Peebles credited a 19-month undercover sting for reducing gun crimes. Operation Fox Hunt took nearly 200 guns off the streets, he said.

Armed robberies of people were down 43 percent, but commercial robberies rose 35 percent after a string of 26 robberies in January.

The year began with a four-year high in the number of burglaries; there were more than 400 burglaries reported in both September and November. Through July, the number of burglaries for the year – 1,970 – exceeded the total for 2010 – 1,939.

Records also show the number of burglaries generally dropping when compared with 2010, and Peebles expects that trend to continue. In July, for instance, there were 128 fewer burglaries than in the same month in 2010.

Peebles said the burglary task force formed at the beginning of the year has made an impact on those crimes. The task force is a small group of selected deputies who patrol only a specific area or neighborhood that has been hard-hit by burglaries.

In addition, investigators have been assigned geographical beats and exclusively work the burglaries in that beat, Peebles said. That includes meeting with neighborhood watch groups to gain information and encourage residents to report burglaries.

“That helps on the preventative side of things,” Peebles said.

The crime that went up the most was child molestation, which experienced a 22 percent increase, compared with this time last year.

By the numbers

                                        2010        2011*     Change

Commercial robbery     48             65           +17

Armed robbery              184          104         -80

Aggravated assault        169          130         -39

Rape                                  44           51            +7

Murder                             19            12            -7

Burglary                         1,939       1,970       +31

Narcotics                           936        871           -65

* Through July

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KSL
143740
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KSL 08/15/11 - 06:38 pm
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My point is that statistics

My point is that statistics tell us only a part of the picture.

seenitB4
97405
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seenitB4 08/15/11 - 06:39 pm
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If he doesn't get paid for

If he doesn't get paid for posting on here.....somebody is missing an employee for most of the day...lol

AutumnLeaves
10250
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AutumnLeaves 08/15/11 - 06:41 pm
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countyman, relax, it is not

countyman, relax, it is not some big conspiracy, the Augusta Chronicle talks about Augusta crime most, because, well, please note the name of the publication, the AUGUSTA Chronicle. And the criminal records in Richmond County Neighbors reflect, well, surprise, surprise: RICHMOND county crimes. Please also note: This is a consolidated city and county government of Augusta-Richmond County. Anything about other parts of the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) are just of shared interest or filler. Also, the crimes reported in the paper in articles are just a sample, it is not practical, prudent or cost-effective to report every crime in Augusta on a daily basis.

walrus4ever
354
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walrus4ever 08/15/11 - 06:42 pm
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Electrolux moved its high

Electrolux moved its high earning jobs to NC and left Augusta with another call center. Monetary investment doesnt always translate into job gains. In some cases it can mean losses due to automation. I dont consider call centers a tech industry. To be fair, manufacturing is down nationwide but some areas have job growth directly related to manufacturing. When RC gets a BMW or even a tissue mill ( which it could have landed) then trumpet your standard promo. Otherwise......

seenitB4
97405
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seenitB4 08/15/11 - 06:44 pm
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He can't relax Leaves.....he

He can't relax Leaves.....he is on a mission...from who-knows-where...he is trying to be relevant to this discussion....hahalol

Craig Spinks
818
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Craig Spinks 08/15/11 - 06:45 pm
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(S)eenitB4, Touche.

(S)eenitB4,

Touche.

AutumnLeaves
10250
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AutumnLeaves 08/15/11 - 06:47 pm
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countyman, as long as we LIVE

countyman, as long as we LIVE here, we will continue to be concerned about the crime rate, even if it is ONE a day, or ONE a week, or ONE a year. This is our home. And I'm not blaming any one entity, person, I'm just trying to do my part to make sure people are aware and that if I see it, I report it, SAFELY. My first priority: do no harm, nor cause it. Also, forewarned is forearmed.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 08/15/11 - 06:46 pm
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LET ME BE CLEAR! (in my best

LET ME BE CLEAR! (in my best Obama voice) I didn't imply Countyman gets paid to post here. What I said was he had a vested interest in cheerleading for Richmond County. I think that should be obvious to everyone. AND, too many facts at hand to just be an interested observer.

KSL
143740
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KSL 08/15/11 - 06:47 pm
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Don't get me wrong. I love

Don't get me wrong. I love Augusta and I want it to be all that it can be. It can't be an Atlanta. I don't think I want it to, but I would love for it to be tops over Savannah, Macon, and Columbus. It's in the area I live, the area I love. I want it to be better than Greenville and Spartan burg and Columbia and Charleston. And those 4 cities are in my state. But Augusta is closest to me. My husband has worked in Augusta.

People like Countyman don't do Augusta a favor by being so gushingly positive about it. If you only look at the positive, how in the world are you going to work to change the negatives? And whether they are real or not (opinion) the negatives need to be changed.

AutumnLeaves
10250
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AutumnLeaves 08/15/11 - 06:48 pm
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A lot of good comments on

A lot of good comments on here. Thanks everyone. I appreciate your efforts.

seenitB4
97405
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seenitB4 08/15/11 - 06:48 pm
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I would almost be willing to

I would almost be willing to rent a house for countyman in Richmond county in a certain neighborhood....near Meadowbrook if he would live in it for a month---

seenitB4
97405
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seenitB4 08/15/11 - 07:01 pm
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btw Spinks.....you have some

btw Spinks.....you have some posts that I admire also...thanks!

Leaves & I both post the location of some crimes just so others can be on the lookout...what it is near & etc.---it helps to be warned of trouble near you.

Patty-P
3520
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Patty-P 08/15/11 - 07:16 pm
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'The number of crimes not

'The number of crimes not being reported is irrelevant...'

Huh?

harley_52
25871
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harley_52 08/15/11 - 07:31 pm
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I've lived in Richmond County

I've lived in Richmond County for about 30 years, inside the city of Augusta for about 26 years. In that time, my house has been burglarized once (about 17 years ago). I have zero complaints about the ARC Sheriff's Department as I see them on the streets plenty and they've been responsive on the few occasions I've called to ask a question or to report something I thought they'd like to know. One of my children is also an Augusta resident and I think shares my favorable opinion of the local police.

Maybe I've been lucky, and I agree one burglary in 30 years is one more than I'd like to have, but I just don't see Augusta as some sort of crime cesspool others seem to experience.

Patty-P
3520
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Patty-P 08/15/11 - 07:51 pm
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harley....I think it really

harley....I think it really depends on who's reporting the crime and where you live. I've had better experiences recently but not in previous years. As far as crime goes I mainly see the same people committing crimes over and over. This is where the courts come in. If they would stop letting criminals back out on the streets I believe crime here really would go down.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 08/15/11 - 08:16 pm
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The number of crimes not

The number of crimes not being reported is irrelevant per Countyman....this really sums it all up along with the other missinformation spewed frequently. The crimes may not matter to you but I bet the victims wern't too thrilled.

Countyman, Here are some direct questions....

1. Are you really pleased with our crime rate?

2. Do you really feel safe walking downtown or in many other areas our Richmond County in the evening (and I am talking 10pm, not 3am)?

4. Do you not believe that the commissoners have done a deplorable job ignoring crime by cutting 41 deputies from the budget and and additional $1 Million?

5. Do you believe that we can attract the best deputies by being one of the worst paid departments in the area with salaries that don't even begin to compare with same size departments throughout the SouthEast combined with furlough days, salary decreases, little to no benefits, no incentive pay for education (college or otherwise) and greatly reduced training opportunities?

You seem more worried showing everyone where it is WORSE but I don't live in those areas so frankly I could care less. I am more interested in the many areas where you have true community policing, you feel safe walking downtown and in parking lots of businesses, etc. and frankly we do not have that in Richmond County even though the Sheriff and the deputies are doing all they can.

Cuts to the department:

- 41 sworn law enforcement officer positions removed from service
- Almost $1 Million in additional cuts the past 2 years
- Furlough days which equal loosing almost 20 deputies based on the total number employed times the number of furlough days.
- Nearly 40 unfilled (approved for hire) positions within the Sheriff's Office that the Sheriff (recent article) is having trouble finding qualified candidates for employment due to the salaires, benefits and furlough days because we simply are not competative with other agencies - The police in general aren't paid much but here it is a complete joke.
- Training that has been drastically cut - This is almost a guarantee for increased law suits that will cost more than the training would have cost.
- Call volume and Call Risk also plays a major role because RCSO deputies only have time to respond to calls and very little time for pro-active police work and the risk associated with the calls they respond to as well as the call volume is far greater than those in neighboring counties.

Again, you can continue telling us how great it is or you can deal in reality and help to make it better....your propoganda isn't gaining any traction with anyone as should be obvious. If you REALLY care about this community then help us do something to make it better....and before you ask, yes I certainly do quite often both within the school system and public safety.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 08/15/11 - 08:31 pm
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Per Patty P: "As far as

Per Patty P: "As far as crime goes I mainly see the same people committing crimes over and over. This is where the courts come in. If they would stop letting criminals back out on the streets I believe crime here really would go down."

Patty, you are 100% correct...

it starts with a verbal warning in school followed by another warning and then when you are really bad you may get detention and an additional warning. Until you commit a felony on campus the worst you will receive is detention or a mild in school suspension.

From School it goes to juvenile court where one warning after another is issued and then mabye some community service and probation - the youth LAUGH behind the judges back and could care less...again you must commit a felony (probably more than one) to get any time in juvenile detention where there you will learn how to become an even better thug or criminal or you MAY finally wake up and change.

After Juvey, you start going to real court and the system begins new again with warnings, probation, jail time maybe but even then you will be released prior to your time being up. This doesn't even include the crimes you committed while out on parole or the ones they cops couldn't catch you doing. So many times people are back on the street before the mounds of paperwork is even completed. This frustrates cops and some then (wrongly) only worry about the perceived real crimes allowing the small crimes, small amounts of drugs, etc. to go because in their opinion it is more trouble than it is worth.

We could greatly reduce the need for police on our streets while at the same time improving our quality of life if the judicial system would simply do their job and keep violent criminals where they belong or offer them the option of death. Murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals shouldn't even have an option IMO as they never deserve to walk the streets again with law abiding citizens.

Of course it all starts with the parents...but not much can be done there other than cutting any/all benefits for having children that one can not afford. Right now our government rewards negative behavior because the more kids you have that you can't afford the more money you will recieve on your EBT card and in your mail box in the form of tax credits, etc. And, it isn't about race, it is about personal responsibility and acountibility.

Just like watching the news the other night and listening to the lady complain about the slow RC school bus service taking her kids to / from school for her for free, feeding them from free while they are there and trying to provide them with some type of education. Her complaint....that they can't carry their cell phones she bought them so she will know if they are going to be late....Living in Government taxpayer housing, eating off of EBT and Free School Lunch, using various government services, getting a tax credit check every year and the complaint is that the busses are too slow and my kids have the "right" to carry their cell phones....this entitlement society that has been created is going to destroy us if not changed.

Patty-P
3520
Points
Patty-P 08/15/11 - 09:03 pm
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0
'This frustrates cops and

'This frustrates cops and some then (wrongly) only worry about the perceived real crimes allowing the small crimes, small amounts of drugs, etc. to go because in their opinion it is more trouble than it is worth.'

asitis....every crime (particularly with youth in this area) is well worth the trouble. Paying close attention to these 'small crimes' may well save someone's life. A kid who broke into my house twice was let off the hook (by investigators) two years ago. I was furious, as I lost an enormous amount of jewelry and personal items from my childhood. Not to mention he invaded my personal privacy and it seemed irrelevant to everyone else. This same kid is now behind bars for robbery and assault. The little things almost always clear the path for bigger and better things (worse crimes). Whoever he assaulted may not have had to endure this event, had this person been dealt with long ago. This is what I see over and over and over again in Richmond County. When I say I 'see' it, I do mean literally. The sad thing is....it seems that the judicial system is more concerned with the criminals future and well-being than that of the innocent citizens and victims. This is why criminals make a mockery of the police department and the justice system. This is why they repeat their crimes. Until this mindset changes, I don't foresee any changes with the criminal element around here. And believe me, people are pretty much fed up with it.

I don't know about government benefits, etc. because I don't receive them at all. I think the absent parents need to pick up the tab instead of the government for those mothers who have to receive benefits. Too many men with rims, $200 shoes, etc. but yet their children are eating with government benefits. I agree but to a certain extent.

KSL
143740
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KSL 08/15/11 - 09:17 pm
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0
It is best to let people seek

It is best to let people seek out the crime information and neighborhood information for themselves. Real estate agents need to show the available properties. The neighborhood demographics and criminal activity information is readily available from a number of sources your agent can direct you to if you don't know where to find them. Federal law prohibits agents from directing people toward or away from neighborhoods. Beware of agents who whitewash locations or on the other side, black list them. Do your own research. It's totally possible and it's the law.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 08/15/11 - 09:26 pm
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Countyman, I am delighted to

Countyman, I am delighted to hear about the camera project. Just their ADVERTISED presence will have a deterrent effect on the cockroaches who like to run around unseen; and a comforting effect on those who fear downtown. As much as I criticize crime, etc. in RC, I root for it to succeed because it is the anchor point for the whole area. A vibrant Augusta benefits everyone in the CSRA. My wife and I are fans of downtown and visit as often as we can; but there is still a mountain of work to be done to make it an attractive destination. Crumbling sidewalks, ratty storefronts, and poor lighting in some sections just to name a few. We went to Ed Turner's show Saturday at the Imperial. We parked about halfway between the Imperial and Mellow Mushroom, went to the MM for dinner, then the show, and walked back to the car. I would not have been at all comfortable with her walking that few blocks by herself at that time of night. THAT atmosphere has to change.

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 08/15/11 - 09:59 pm
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Patty-P, agree with your 8:51

Patty-P, agree with your 8:51 p.m. post. Significance is a fickle thing. Even when a horse is being sold; it is very important where it is standing.

countyman, takes a beating from us....but can't say he doesn't ask for it most of the time.

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 08/15/11 - 11:12 pm
0
0
PattyP, just to be clear, I

PattyP, just to be clear, I agree with you and that is why I said they (wrongly) allow small crimes to be ignored. At the same time, when you have a department as shorthanded as Richmond County, you will have supervisors verbally disciplining deputies who make small cases such as under age driking, etc. because it ties up the officer for such a long time period and then the supervisor or another beat car must answer the calls in their assigned area.

If you stay on top of ALL crimes and deal with juveniles and adults for the various criminal violations involving alcohol, drugs, disorderly conduct, etc. it helps to repeatdly get them off of the streets and prevent other crimes from occurring, even if just for a short while. Bottome line is don't make it easy for them to break our laws or be repeat offenders.

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 08/16/11 - 12:54 am
0
0
PattyP, to back up your

PattyP, to back up your comments, the following is from a "Top Cop" with great experiences solving crime in many large cities:

During his tenure heading three major American police departments - Boston from 1993 to '94, New York City from 1994 to '96 and Los Angeles from 2002 to '09 - Bratton, 63, drastically reduced crime rates and won particular praise for his handling of gangs. "All these thugs and knuckleheads running wild in London this week, you can't excuse away that behavior. I'm a progressive, but on crime I'm very tough," Bratton tells TIME. His record speaks for itself.

In New York City, working under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Bratton introduced a zero-tolerance policy called broken windows. Police began cracking down on public drunks, potheads, aggressive panhandlers, graffiti scribblers, cyclists who ride on sidewalks and even "squeegee pests," or the people who offer to clean commuters' windshields at traffic stops. If a person was unable to provide photo identification, they were hauled to a police station, searched, fingerprinted and possibly further detained. The system was credited with lowering rates for major crimes such as murder and rape. "The secret of it is the blending of big things and little things," Bratton says. "You don't want people to fear the police - you want the criminal element to fear and respect the police. Criminals have to fear that if they commit a crime, they will get caught."

In both New York City and Los Angeles, Bratton drastically increased the size of the police force, instituting a "boots of the ground" approach. In New York City, he had 36,720 officers or 1 for every 218 residents.

Richmond County's population is just over 200,500 and we have approximately 460 certified deputy positions according to the Chronicle’s article on 8/1 where the Sheriff actually had to defend hiring deputies to replace many whom have quit. 460 deputies include all in administration positions, the training division, traffic, narcotics, road patrol, etc. that Richmond County has handling traffic and crimes for this area. That is 1 Deputy Sheriff for every 435 residents which is unacceptable for the level of service that we should expect from our elected officials. According to the Chronicle, we lost 36 road patrol deputies this year and have only been able to replace 13 thus far (hard to hire with deplorable salaries, furlough days and no benefits) therefore of the 460 approved positions, we actually currently only have 437 deputies working to prevent crime including the 24 sworn LEO’s in administration. Add to that the furlough days that ALL employees of the Sheriff’s Office must take and you can reduce your deputies for the year based on total number of deputies / days worked / etc. for sworn personnel only and you reduce your number of deputies for 2011 by an additional 13 deputies.

Therefore, taking into account unfilled positions and furlough days, you now have 424 deputies trying their best to protect and serve a population of 200,500 citizens or 1 deputy for every 473 residents. The commissioners should be ashamed of their record of support Public Safety for our community and the Sheriff should be applauded for an amazing job against all odds with not nearly enough personnel.

etlinks
24398
Points
etlinks 08/16/11 - 04:43 am
0
0
The article is about Augusta

The article is about Augusta crime not other outside counties,please keep to the story as it is printed and you know who I'm talking about.

Brad Owens
4906
Points
Brad Owens 08/16/11 - 10:55 am
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Well, seems jason and I

Well, seems jason and I agree, it ain't over yet and as the unemployment climbs and Christmas looms, you will see more of this.

The fact is, crimes that happen that are not reported happen at the time. I had my window broken THREE times downtown with someone looking for stuff to steal.

I even left the doors unlocked after the first time and they STILL broke the window. So I started leaving the passenger side window down so the crack heads would see that it was open.

I still found my stuff tossed up a few times after that, they even stole the 1978 8track am radio cassette player I had put in so I could hear Austin Rhodes in the afternoon. That thing was not worth the $5 I paid for it at the flea market on 56.

I only wish I had caught them once, JUST ONCE, so I could have beaten the heck out of them. Oh Lord I prayed to allow me to catch just once.

By the way, I never reported any of the the break ins because my insurance didn’t cover it and it was a waste of the RCSD time as far as I was concerned, but it did cost me about $1000 to have the windows put back in.

So don't tell me that crime is down, don't tell me that unreported crime has no impact, and don’t tell me the county is doing fine.

My taxes have gone up TEN years in a row yet I see less and less for it. My garbage fees went up and the small indie haulers were put out of business so don’t tell me all is OK.

You may be whistling zippty do-dah out your bum but here in the real world we are scared and want action, not words.

I mean sure, for folks like countyman every day is a holiday, every meal is a feast, but for folks that are from the county it is hard these days and we are worried.

The CABAL only come out of the ground when they smell a profit. Seven days out of seven they are out of harm’s way and with wonderful plans to help themselves to our tax dollars all the time. Then they have the audacity to lecture us on how safe it is? BOLLOCKS!

We need some real leadership in this county, the Sheriff has been pushed to cut, cut, cut and cut. And now that he is taking heat, he can’t bite the hand that feeds him so instead he send out Capt. Pebbles to try and polish this dung heap up. Well I don’t envy him or the job he has, but the County Commission needs to step up, cut those salary raises Fred put in place and give the sheriff more deputies on the streets.

Where is the mayor in all this? Oh I forgot, he is busy getting us on meaningless lists he can send out newsletters about. Nero anyone? At least Nero was obvious in his contempt for the common man, the mayor holds prayer breakfasts so he can fool the common man and show everyone what a “good” man he is while the common man suffers. He laughs at them as he drives back to Connifer Place at night.

Ever hear the phrase, God helps those who help themselves? We’ll where are you Mr. Mayor? Where is YOUR plan?

Better off tossing a coin in the Surrey Center fountain and praying for more police protection, just don't get caught fishing them back out when the wish doesn't come true.

Patty-P
3520
Points
Patty-P 08/16/11 - 10:54 am
0
0
I could be wrong but my

I could be wrong but my intuition tells me that the mayor is more concerned with how things 'appear to be' than what they actually are. He wants the city to 'look good' when it is obviously problematic. If you listen to him sometimes on various issues, you'll pick up on it as well. The mayor and countyman must be in cahoots with one another.

Brad Owens
4906
Points
Brad Owens 08/16/11 - 11:00 am
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Countyman and Deke? Naw,

Countyman and Deke? Naw, can't be..

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 08/16/11 - 03:03 pm
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It's too easy to get caught

It's too easy to get caught up in the numbers, Richmond County sheriff's Chief Deputy Ronald Strength said.

"I hate statistics," he said. "Numbers are very volatile. They're like the stock market. No one can control crime. The numbers might be down this year, and everyone's patting you on the back, but they might go up again next year." 1998

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 08/16/11 - 03:21 pm
0
0
Targeting crime and tipsters

Targeting crime and tipsters coming out of the woodwork WORKED. Good job RCSO and crime stopper tipsters.

Sentinel
1
Points
Sentinel 08/16/11 - 04:37 pm
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0
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