Strong police force will continue at First Friday

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 5:43 PM
Last updated 8:16 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

A strong show of police force will continue during and after this month’s First Friday event, Richmond County authorities say.

The increase in security is part of an action plan developed because of a July 6 shooting that wounded six people on Broad Street after the event ended. A task force recommended more coordination and stricter enforcement of street vendors.

“We intend on beefing up patrols, and we encourage folks to abide by the curfew law,” Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said. “We will be prepared for whatever type of overcrowding arises.”

Authorities implemented the action plan for the first time during the August event. Efforts for this Friday were tweaked, mostly focusing on vendors selling food.

At August’s event, sheriff’s deputies could be seen consistently along Broad Street from Fifth to 13th streets. Police cars were parked on corners throughout the evening. The fire department and Gold Cross EMS also had people and vehicles downtown.

The event went on without any major incidents, and authorities said bad weather kept crowds from gathering after First Friday’s 9 p.m. conclusion as they had in previous months. Lightning started about 8:30 p.m., and rain followed an hour later.

This week, the Greater Augusta Arts Council met with the License and Inspection department, sheriff’s office and health department. Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative employees are distributing fliers to business owners with event guidelines.

“We are all on the same page as to who is allowed and who isn’t allowed,” said Sallie West, the outreach director for the arts
council.

Starting in August, city officials made the License and Inspection department responsible for unlicensed vendors. West said the arts council is making large strides to ensure vendors know the guidelines for setting up booths.

“All vendors and businesses must work together to come to a mutual agreement so vendors are in front of open and operating businesses,” she said.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: First Friday

WHEN: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday

WHERE: 800 to 1100 blocks of Broad Street

MORE INFORMATION: For vendor guidelines or questions, call Greater Augusta Arts Council First Friday coordinator Jamie Lowe at (706) 826-4702.

Comments (7) Add comment
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just an opinion
2494
Points
just an opinion 09/05/12 - 11:00 pm
2
1
Those dang Mexicans!

That's who we're talking about, right?

Riverman1
82436
Points
Riverman1 09/06/12 - 04:51 am
3
0
A Couple of Questions

"“All vendors and businesses must work together to come to a mutual agreement so vendors are in front of open and operating businesses,” she said.

Why must vendors be in front of open businesses?

"Efforts for this Friday were tweaked, mostly focusing on vendors selling food."

Why is the focus on vendors selling food?

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 09/06/12 - 09:04 am
5
0
First Friday should be about

First Friday should be about the businesses who permanently operate on Broad Street, not the temporary vendors. Temporary supports permanent, not the other way around. Should also help keep things from getting to spread out and aid law enforcement.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/06/12 - 08:46 am
2
0
Downtown last week
Unpublished

for the first time in ages. Had a meal at a nice restaurant with a friend. Upon exiting the restaurant, was accosted by a homeless panhandlers posing as a improtu artist. Wanted money. Wanted money. Only when informed that police would be called did he retreat.

Beat cops, on Broad St. A visible force at the point of crime prevention. Not in a car waiting to clean up the glass and blood.

Please vote for Freddie Sanders and bring sanity back to the RCSO.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/06/12 - 08:53 am
1
0
Why can other CBD,s have
Unpublished

shoppers, sightseers, diners, adults and children any day or night without incidences? Why does River City need an army to keep the peace? Why? Maybe we should be like Rio de Janeiro with soldiers armed with automatic rifle on every corner?

Little Lamb
45360
Points
Little Lamb 09/06/12 - 10:28 am
1
0
Vendors

Good questions, RM. I guess the police don't want vendors set up on the sidewalks in front of closed businesses because the police could not verify whether the closed business owners gave permission. Of course, I never thought about who owns the sidewalks, the building owner or the city? It must be the building owner, if he has to give permission for a vendor to set up in front of his business.

It would seem that a business like Nacho Mama's would not like to see a taco wagon set up right in front of their restaurant, but the second-hand clothing store might like to have the taco wagon or a hot dog stand in front of their store.

Merrill Lynch is at 933 Broad Street. They will be closed. Why would they mind if a shish kebob griller set up in front of their office?

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 09/06/12 - 11:08 am
1
0
I can tell you why ML and

I can tell you why ML and other businesses should mind LL, because the events and behavior going on in front of their building influence and attach to them whether they have or have not endorsed the event. Not only that, but damages to their property. It's the street party you wouldn't want happening in your yard if you were not home to control it

Riverman1
82436
Points
Riverman1 09/06/12 - 11:24 am
3
0
Willow, it sounds like you

Willow, it sounds like you are saying shutdown FF as we know it. No more street stuff. I'm in favor of that approach.

CobaltGeorge
155632
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/06/12 - 01:30 pm
2
0
RM

I have been meaning to make a comment like that ever since this attempt to Resurrect a bad street that has falling face on it's face.
The only Resurrection that has been done, was nothing but TROUBLE for everybody involved.
It is almost like our King SMNCICBHO way of doing things, "It didn't work in past History, so let me try it again."

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 09/06/12 - 05:43 pm
3
0
Kind of hard to remember the

Kind of hard to remember the goal was to drain the swamp when you are up to your behind in alligators, River.

I'm just wondering if the Mission should not be restated.
Is it a street party? Is it about attracting people to shop, dine, appreciate the arts? What is the cost vs. benefit to businesses, city and taxpayers?
Could it be done better? Does it enhance or harm? Are taxpayers overburdened by it?

The goals seem to be forgotten. misunderstood or ignored.

Riverman1
82436
Points
Riverman1 09/06/12 - 06:35 pm
2
0
Yep, major changes are needed

Yep, major changes are needed that will end it as it's now known.

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