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River Glen Apartments in Augusta safer now, authorities say

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For years, River Glen Apartments has been known for being crime-ridden, but police said steps taken by the community and management are slowly helping to make it safer for residents.

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Tarika Wilson and her daughter, Maranda Tennant, 4, have lived at River Glen Apartments for about a year. "It has changed. Things have gotten calmer," she said.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Tarika Wilson and her daughter, Maranda Tennant, 4, have lived at River Glen Apartments for about a year. "It has changed. Things have gotten calmer," she said.

“We’re not hearing as many gunshots,” Ginger Arthurs said as she walked her dog, Spirit, through the complex on East Telfair Street on Wednesday. “We used to hear them on a daily basis.”

Arthurs said she didn’t feel safe when she moved in a year ago, but now she’s more at ease.

The apartments were thrown into the spotlight in February after a third homicide on the property in nine months.

After the Feb. 5 homicide of Truemaine Jones, 27, PK Management released a statement expressing sympathy and promising to seek “additional strategies to ensure our residents’ safety.”

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said he’s seeing a change. Law enforcement officials have said the problem at River Glen is not the residents but male visitors to the apartments, which primarily house women and children.

“We see improvements, but the problems are coming from the outside in,” Gay said.

The management group has fixed a broken rear fence that allowed outsiders easy access to the complex. However, it has not followed the sheriff’s office’s recommendation that it install a fence that encircles the apartments.

Gay said the management team is cracking down on “visitor issues” to keep men off the property who are living there without approval or frequently hanging around.

Angela Harden, a pastor at New Destiny Triumph Ministries, was already ministering at River Glen when Jones was killed. Since then, Harden and members of her congregation descend on River Glen every third Friday for a Praise Train Live, where they speak blessings and have games and goody bags for children.

“When they hear me on the mic, it’s on,” Harden said. “They literally come running.”

Harden was personally affected by crime in the neighborhood when her nephew, 23-year-old Angelo Daggett, was fatally shot behind a River Glen Apartments building in May 2011. The case remains unsolved.

She tries to visit the neighborhood several times a week with a goal of reaching the adults. So far, she said, she’s been successful.

“There has been a great impact on the community,” Harden said. “The violence is down and the management shared with us (Monday) how our presence is making such a difference.”

In 2011, deputies responded to 869 calls to River Glen. As of Sept. 30, deputies have responded to 655 calls this year, 14 more than in the same period in 2011.

Although the numbers don’t reflect improvement, authorities said there is less violent crime. The calls also include those from residents for law enforcement to check the area for suspicious activity.

Gay said it’s still too early to be comparing numbers.

Tarika Wilson, who has lived at River Glen for about a year, said she’s definitely seen a difference.

“It has changed. Things have gotten calmer,” she said.

She said police are constantly patrolling the area, dispersing large crowds and talking to people in the streets.

“If they (PK Management) keep doing what they’re doing and we keep doing what we’re doing, we will keep seeing improvements,” Gay said.

DEPUTY RESPONSES TO RIVER GLEN APARTMENTS
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January5588
February6477
March7662
April7561
May4554
June7073
July71105
August10764
September7871
October65
November79
December84
Comments (9) Add comment
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F4therTime
4656
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F4therTime 10/05/12 - 09:47 am
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Leaders...
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Of the black community...are you listening? It's up to you to take back your neighborhoods. It's up to you to solve the black youth's problems.

greggarn
153
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greggarn 10/05/12 - 10:07 am
3
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Strange Question

Not trying to be insensitive, but for years there have always been crime in the lower income housing areas, and I feel it's always African Americans being hurt and committing the crimes... my question is where do all the non African American low income live in Augusta ? You are always hearing about the racial make up of the city being NEARLY 50/50 so where are they...

HenryWalker3rd
2393
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HenryWalker3rd 10/05/12 - 11:06 am
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4
Fathertime
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Ginger, the lady in the article, is white....my point, WE ALL NEED TO show our support for a community such as River Glenn, not just BLACK LEADERS. Don't get me wrong now, the black leaders could do more, but WHAT ALL COMMUNITY LEADERS, not just the black ones?

Augusta....and the beat goes on.

F4therTime
4656
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F4therTime 10/05/12 - 11:23 am
5
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You are just to sensitive...
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The majority of public housing complexes are populated by black people. That's not a slam against your race. The number one killer of black males is black males. The drop out rate among blacks is higher. The population of prisoners is dominated by black males. I just don't see the leaders of the black community taking action. The NAACP would rather have a rally for a convicted cop killer that got the death penalty rather than address real problems that probably put him on the wrong path to start with.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
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HenryWalker3rd 10/05/12 - 11:50 am
0
8
My race?
Unpublished

My race?
YOU SAID:
"I just don't see the leaders of the black community taking action." True statement.

BUT

I don't see the leaders of the white community taking action.

Why is this a racial issue...clearly there are white people that live in River Glenn and other housing projects in Augusta.

YOU SAID:
"The number one killer of black males is black males. The drop out rate among blacks is higher. The population of prisoners is dominated by black males."

Black people are held to a different standard in this society period

F4therTime
4656
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F4therTime 10/05/12 - 01:31 pm
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That's bull..
Unpublished

That's a cop out. Every race has the same playing field. Anytime white people try to involve themselves in the black communities problem we are told "you are white, you don't understand, we handle our own problems stay out of it" try that poor pitiful us complaint somewhere else. The majority of public housing projects are resided in by black people. You may see a few whites but for the most part it's black dominated.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
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HenryWalker3rd 10/05/12 - 02:05 pm
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7
Just asking.
Unpublished

What is your opinion on why the projects are dominated by black people?

Every race has the same playing field??? Since when?

CobaltGeorge
159354
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CobaltGeorge 10/05/12 - 04:36 pm
10
3
"Black people are held to a

"Black people are held to a different standard in this society period'

and just who's fault is it....

Every race has the same playing field??? Since when?

Don't say "Since When? The Blacks have been given 1st choice in all playing fields for years but still have not tried to improve their living conditions.

CobaltGeorge
159354
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CobaltGeorge 10/05/12 - 04:43 pm
5
1
Why Is It Necessary

"I don't see the leaders of the white community taking action.

Just how many of those whites make the daily police report?

greggarn
153
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greggarn 10/05/12 - 05:21 pm
3
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No One Answered

I have not gotten an answer where the poor whites live in Augusta, its obvious its not the inner city, take a look at Josey and Laney... Or they do not have kids. Yeah I am sure there are few whites in River Glenn but there are many many other areas.

F4therTime
4656
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F4therTime 10/05/12 - 08:53 pm
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There are a couple...
Unpublished

1st the epidemic unwed teenage mothers, generations of welfare families that are given a check instead of a skill, glorification of the street thug mentality and too few real leaders in the community that are willing to do the unpopular thing and call their community members out. It's just the standard SOP to blame society or moan about an unlevel playing field.

KSL
130050
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KSL 10/05/12 - 06:24 pm
8
4
I don't think it would do

I don't think it would do much good for white leaders to try to get through to those black kids. They have contempt for white people.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 10/05/12 - 07:38 pm
4
3
I always cringe when my child

I always cringe when my child wants to visit anyone in multi family housing. Luxury, smuxury, it's all the same to me. Too many transients; no roots.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 10/05/12 - 10:33 pm
3
0
Greggarn ... a majority of

Greggarn ... a majority of the white people who are/were on public assistance lived in the apartment complex on Lumpkin Rd (Shadowwood I think), Villa Marie on Deans Bridge Rd & the other apartment complex on Hwy 56 (Augusta Manor?). There was also a complex on Windsor Spring Rd near the 2nd entrance to Wood Lake. Also many use to live in the duplexes on Lumpkin Rd (Norton Dr., etc) that were later mostly bought out by the Alleluia Community. But none that I can ever remember in the old City of Augusta.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 10/05/12 - 10:46 pm
6
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HW3rd ... I understand your

HW3rd ... I understand your desire to talk about injustices directed towards minorities but you're over the line on certain things you say. In many ways white males have become increasingly the new "minority" in our country. Affirmative Action helped everyone with the exception of white males. Many have been passed over for political correctness of hiring a female of either race, black males, etc.

Reparations should be a thing of the past. My family didn't own slaves & I am first generation American on my mother's side, so they didn't own slaves either.

I am glad that River Glen, it's tenants & it's owners are stepping up & taking responsibility for a safe environment & community. I think all government funded complexes should be gated & manned to ensure the safety of it's residents & to keep non-residents off the premises between certain hours. Not to penalize the people who live there, but to protect them. Just like upscale complexes have limited access gates.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
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Karen Slater-McDaniel 10/05/12 - 10:58 pm
6
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Have you ever wondered why

Have you ever wondered why you rarely hear of any criminal activity at Villa Marie? After all it is government funded.

It is due to the owners & the management of that complex. They also pay for private security, who has random hours they show up so that none of the residents can predict when they'll be onsite. They have a 10:00pm curfew for residents. Rules are enforced by management and you follow the rules or you receive written warnings. After so many notices you are asked to vacate & the Housing Authority is notified which could mean you lose your Section 8.

Novel idea that making people follow rules, huh?

soapy_725
43678
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soapy_725 10/06/12 - 06:59 am
1
0
We thought Villa Maria was "church funded"? Oh Well?
Unpublished

Villa Maria was one of the many reasons we moved from S Richmond Co. At sundown cars would park in our neighborhood and climb over the back fence into Villa Marie. Then the gunshots would begin and police cruisers, lights and sirens began. Every night. Men running and police chasing.

The government has set the tone for racism in this country. The government disenfranchised black males economically. Females and children are accepted, even courted, with open arms for financial aid and housing. The males are left to fend for themselves. Sure many work. Most of t hose are married responsible members of society. But these are not the sons and male companions of the women in government housing who have no husband.

What are the black ministers preaching in church? Maybe we should go? We learned a lot about life and human relationships in church as well as "godly living". Black ministers are the most vocal, self appointed leaders, and seem to be the most educated and articulate. What do they espouse when not on camera? Are they encouraging men and women to be people of character so that the dream of cultural judgement will disappear?

We say cultural difference, because that is at issue, not skin color.

soapy_725
43678
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soapy_725 10/06/12 - 07:05 am
1
0
As far as the barb wire fence around the complex? 24/7 guards?
Unpublished

How far do we go in creating a "ghetto"? Why not a brick wall? Schools now look like prisons. Should apartment complexes look like prisons? Or Native American reservations?

It looks as if our federal government has known for a lone time how to deal with "diverse cultures". Some they chose to annihilate or starve. Where were the right to life people in the 18th and 19th century?

As one professor in Rome GA said, "the Civil War did not end slavery, it only enlarged the plantation".

Little Lamb
46060
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Little Lamb 10/06/12 - 07:11 am
3
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Photo

Tarika Wilson has lovely skin tone.

JRC2024
8888
Points
JRC2024 10/06/12 - 08:19 am
2
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Peace be among them-I doubt

Peace be among them-I doubt it.

soapy_725
43678
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soapy_725 10/06/12 - 08:34 am
1
0
Love will solve all of the
Unpublished

crime and government housing problems.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 10/06/12 - 08:52 am
0
0
Karen
Unpublished

"I understand your desire to talk about injustices directed towards minorities but you're over the line on certain things you say."

How so? Example?

Why is it that the management @ the "white" projects cares enough to implement strict rules, but when it comes to the "black" projects, the management team seems to wait until 3 killings to FINALLY implement changes......yea, that's an even playing field.

Please don't take my comments as being upset or anything.....just sharing my opinion from MY LIFE EXPERIENCES.

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 10/07/12 - 12:28 pm
3
1
I can tell you why...
Unpublished

Because a lot of the black residents start raising cain about it being racist and having to follow rules. It's a shame for the decent people that live there.

commonsense09
12
Points
commonsense09 10/06/12 - 12:00 pm
3
0
I am glad to hear about a

I am glad to hear about a community that has 'had enough' and is doing what's needed to make their neighborhood safe. When I say my prayers tonight, Ms. Wilson, her daughter, and all the neighbors and those who are helping them will be in them. AND those who cause the problems, because they need prayer, too, that God will change their hearts and they will stop their criminal behavior and get on a right path.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 10/07/12 - 08:30 am
1
0
As Sheriif Strength said,
Unpublished

"statistics can mean anything". Here the stats clearly show an increase in what was viewed as "bad". But now those same stats reflect an improvement. It cannot be both ways. How many of the "bad" stats were wrong numbers? Only in ARC "can you make this stuff up" and have it printed in the newspaper. Good is bad and bad is good. Turn the chart upside down. Justify some more taxpayer, grant fund, Obama Tree money for the projects.

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