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Data show few violent crimes in area of First Friday in Augusta since January

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Since January, 11 serious violent crimes have occurred in the downtown area that the sheriff cited as the main location of First Friday, according to crime data The Augusta Chronicle collects each week from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Those crimes consisted of aggravated assaults and robberies.

On Wednesday, Sheriff Ronnie Strength told a group worried about the safety and the future of First Friday that there
isn’t a crime problem in the area. The July 6 shooting that injured six people on Broad Street was an abnormality, Strength
said, in the downtown area bordered by Reynolds, Greene, Fourth and 13th streets. The shootings were included in the crime data.

In the entire Central Business District set by the 911 Emergency Center, which stretches as far as the Savannah River to Laney-Walker Boulevard and Walton Way, there were 50 violent
crimes, topping those in all of Augusta’s emergency response areas.

Strength said that area is much larger than what he sees as the area visited by First Friday participants.

The sheriff said this year’s violent crimes downtown included a Jan. 5 robbery in which the victim said he was accosted by two men who accused him of owing $180 from crack cocaine and took his house key and cellphone; a Feb. 13 assault in which the victim said a woman he knew kicked in his door and cut his hand with a knife; and a man found Feb. 25 at Broad and 11th streets bleeding from stab wounds.

BY THE NUMBERS

A look at some of the incidents in the Central Business District reported to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office this year:

Burglaries/robberies 35

Drug-related 7

Aggravated assaults 4

Homicides 1

MAP

See where violent crimes have occurred in the city of Augusta in the past year.

Comments (7) Add comment
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1SGEssick
5
Points
1SGEssick 07/19/12 - 07:54 pm
3
0
How many is a few

and how many are too many? A dozen "serious" violent crimes is still one every 2 weeks. Wednesday's Chronicle cited Sheriff Strength as indicating over 100 non-trivial crimes over the last 6 months (296 calls, 194 misdemeanors). That is nearly 1 every other day!

First it was the media's fault and now there really isn't a problem. Maybe Sheriff Strength is the problem. Here's hope that Augusta/Richmond County chooses a new Sheriff who will put citizen safety at the top of his priority list.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 07/20/12 - 01:20 pm
1
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17 wounded in Tuscaloosa,

17 wounded in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (pop. 90,000)
12 dead / 50 wounded in Aurora, Colorado (pop. 330,000)

since the Broad Street incident.

CSRA population is hovering around a half a million no?

Whether you want to call it dangerous or perilous, our downtown isn't a death trap and the Savannah isn't the River Styx. Not when comparing to other 2nd tier cities. But I hate to use that type of arguement. Augusta should realize itself and set the bar higher, not because we want to be better/safer than the next town, but because we are one of a kind.

dichotomy
33495
Points
dichotomy 07/20/12 - 09:49 am
1
0
I don't think it's the

I don't think it's the sheriff's fault. I think it is our fault. We have soft peddled young criminals....all criminals......for too long and we are reaping what we have sowed. Even the kids that haven't YET comitted crimes are totally undisciplined and subject to do so at any time.

It's not just Augusta. It's everywhere. I said the other day that you are not safe at any event, the mall, a parking lot, or a movie theater and I think the events in CO this morning bear that out. Many of our young people are into crime and gangs and some of them are just crazy. They live in some alternate reality created by video games, "gansta" rap, vampire movies, and "reality" shows (which any sane person knows are scripted, plotted, and produced just like any other TV show). Does it tell you anything that many of our young people would rather be a vampire that to be like mom or dad? Or be like Snooky?

I don't have the answer but I do know that between ages 2 to 14 a pop on the butt, a switch from the bush outside our front door, and a belt always seemed to snatch my butt back into reality and impress on me the limits of what was acceptable and what was not. After those years the very real fear of being locked up in jail for a long period of time seemed to keep me on the straight and narrow. Today we pass laws that say parents can't spank their kids, teachers and administrators can't paddle and can't permanently expel, and now even our criminal laws say we won't lock up anyone for stealing and comitting other so called "minor" crimes. .....even adults who steal but don't steal "enough". I call BS on all of that. Especially the stupid GA law our legislature passed this year that will keep most criminals from being locked up.

It ain't the sheriff's fault. But don't believe him or anyone else that tells you that FF or any other event is safe. Ain't nothing or nowhere safe nowadays except your own home....if you are armed and ready to defend it.

Just keep listening to the progressives folks. They've got a plan and it's working.

KSL
131267
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KSL 07/20/12 - 10:29 am
0
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Statistics don't mean a

Statistics don't mean a thing if you are the victim of the crime.

Well said, dichotomy.

Little Lamb
46392
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Little Lamb 07/20/12 - 10:58 am
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Short Timer

Now that the sheriff is retiring, I suppose we had better get used to 'shoot-from-the-hip' statements from him, instead of the thoughtful and measured statements we used to get. After the shooting, the sheriff first said things were out of control and really bad downtown. He fumed about nobody being in charge of First Friday, whatever that means. Then but a few days later, the sheriff tried to do a little damage control by saying that downtown Augusta is really, really, really safe and there is nothing to worry about, offering up statistics to bolster his claim. Perhaps reality lies somewhere between his two statements.

HighSociety
1840
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HighSociety 07/20/12 - 11:32 am
0
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Dichotomy, I agree 100%! It's

Dichotomy, I agree 100%! It's great to see something other than complaining and pointing fingers.

Riverman1
84893
Points
Riverman1 07/21/12 - 11:25 am
0
0
Why So Many Calls and Few Arrests?

Another poster commented that she had heard there were 120,000 incidents and calls that resulted in police cars being dispatched. For that many officers to have responded to incidents there were few arrests it seems to me. Also the old city, urban area has a small population, the CBD even smaller.

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