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Police will raise First Friday presence

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The Richmond County Sher­iff’s Office plans to put more emphasis on safety downtown during the first First Friday since two people were brutally attacked on the riverwalk after last month’s event, but a potential storm could alter the plans.



First Friday attendance usually increases starting in June, but with the effects of Tropical Storm Andrea expected to hit the area through Friday, attendance could be lower than expected.

“As the crowd grows (with summer) so does the sheriff’s office (presence),” Lt. Lewis Blanchard said. “We’ll have more people out, but specifically more on foot patrol.”

On May 3, Wesley Spires, 27, of Edgefield, and Ashely Solesbee, 25, of North Augusta, were robbed and beaten with a metal bat or pipe while walking on the riverwalk during their first date. They suffered facial fractures and head wounds. Spires remains hospitalized. Police have made arrests in the case.

During community meetings, city leaders said they believe downtown is safe but there’s a perception that it isn’t. Commissioners and the sheriff’s office began working to create a plan to make downtown safer and destroy that perception.

Blanchard said E-Z-Go has donated two golf carts to the sheriff’s office to assist with downtown patrols. Sheriff Richard Roundtree has planned to drive one of them Friday.

“He’ll be out personally supervising the area,” Blanchard said.

Deputies patrolling downtown will also be paying more attention to things beyond law enforcement, he said.

Blanchard said deputies have been told to include all broken streetlights and other items such as missing sewer grates, overgrown shrubbery, broken traffic cameras or graffiti in their nightly reports so the information can be passed on to the appropriate agencies.

“We’re basically looking for anything that can take a proactive approach,” he said.

The sheriff’s office hoped its new team of reserve deputies would be available for First Friday, but workers’ compensation issues have delayed their start date.

Comments (26) Add comment
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just an opinion
2839
Points
just an opinion 06/06/13 - 08:56 pm
4
5
Hats off to E-Z-Go & Roundtree

Remember, Sheriff Roundtree used to be a leader of the SWAT team and was a former college football player. Just because he is the Sheriff doesn't mean he can't "take care of business" if need be.

Little Lamb
47947
Points
Little Lamb 06/06/13 - 09:14 pm
7
2
Good, but sad

I am glad that sheriff's deputies are looking for things to make better, like the broken streetlights and other items such as missing sewer grates, overgrown shrubbery, broken traffic cameras or graffiti so the information can be passed on to the appropriate agencies. But it points out how sorry Fred (What, me worry?) Russell is in doing his job. He should have his own personnel out there finding and fixing those items. Once again, someone else has to pick up the slack left by Russell.

Riverman1
90427
Points
Riverman1 06/06/13 - 10:20 pm
8
0
Broken Window Theory

"Blanchard said deputies have been told to include all broken streetlights and other items such as missing sewer grates, overgrown shrubbery, broken traffic cameras or graffiti in their nightly reports so the information can be passed on to the appropriate agencies."

The Broken Window Theory. A good idea. Maintaining and monitoring the city stops vandalism and escalation to serious crime.

itsanotherday1
46859
Points
itsanotherday1 06/06/13 - 10:32 pm
5
0
Hats off to the RCSD; it

Hats off to the RCSD; it sounds like they are listening to the public inre foot patrols, etc. Now we just need to get some undercover working, and maybe they have; that isn't something you would announce if you want to grab up some bad guys.

Riverman1
90427
Points
Riverman1 06/07/13 - 12:42 am
7
0
We All Want Augusta To Do Well

E-Z-Go should be thanked profusely. This is the kind of community involvement that can change things. We are all pulling for our CSRA lead city, Augusta, to make it. I also like Sheriff Roundtree getting out there. Community policing, Broken Widow Theory tactics and Roundtree getting out there have proven to be fantastic successes. Kudos.

Dixieman
16561
Points
Dixieman 06/07/13 - 01:08 am
4
1
ATTENTION GANGBANGERS!!

Due to the rainy weather tonight First Friday will be held on Monday. Report to the jail to pick up your party hats before 6:00 p.m. Monday. Your fingerprints will be taken just to help you enjoy your evening....

LeConteSkier
558
Points
LeConteSkier 06/07/13 - 01:47 am
3
8
Y'all do understand First

Y'all do understand First Friday is NOT held on the Riverwalk! Get your facts straight before running this story. This was an unrelated crime! Would the media blame St. Patty's Day or The Master Golf Event had this attack so happened to fall during that time???

Riverman1
90427
Points
Riverman1 06/07/13 - 01:55 am
9
1
Attention, attention

"Y'all do understand First Friday is NOT held on the Riverwalk! Get your facts straight before running this story. This was an unrelated crime!"

Attention, attention, anyone going downtown to First Friday is not supposed to go to the Riverwalk.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
10203
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 06/07/13 - 05:48 am
9
2
Y'all do understand First Friday is NOT held on the Riverwalk

Yes, we understand that, but you should understand that a stroll along the river by a couple is considered a romantic evening, looking at the lights across the river with the setting and atmosphere. First Friday brings more people downtown and the Riverwalk just happens to be DOWNTOWN! I'd be happy to include a map but this format just doesn't seem hospitable to drawings.

seenitB4
93601
Points
seenitB4 06/07/13 - 07:08 am
6
0
Thankya thankya

Thanks to EZ Go & Roundtree....for putting your $$ where your mouth is...it can make a difference.

JRC2024
9946
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JRC2024 06/07/13 - 07:23 am
4
0
Thanks to EZ Go.

Thanks to EZ Go.

...point to ponder
779
Points
...point to ponder 06/07/13 - 07:28 am
4
2
...Cudos

... To E Z Go and the Sheriff. Now lets see how long it takes our elected delegation on the County Commission to wake up or move faster than a blasted snail to make the necessary improvements talked about a few weeks ago. *they can spend $300,000 on a study in a wink of an eye BUT when it comes to an area that needs 'real' action...they are just not very smart. Maybe if the safety of downtown determined who gets tickets to a ball game or a contribution to a campaign or tickets to the Masters THEN our downtown would be spotless and the safest place on this planet!

Brad Owens
4859
Points
Brad Owens 06/07/13 - 07:42 am
3
0
Thank you Sheriff Roundtree and EZ-GO!

Looks like the Sheriff will be downtown tonight on patrol himself in a donated EZ-GO, that is AWESOME! Say what you want about this, the man is getting in the mix and I like it!

Responsive and innovative.

Another campaign promise he can tick off his list in the first six months; Direct Community Involvement by him when needed.

He also showed up at the Rally to support the 2nd Amendment I was at and said he supported law abiding citizens being armed. This guy is going to be a success if we let him.

Great news,

Brad

KSL
140020
Points
KSL 06/07/13 - 07:46 am
3
3
There is something about that headline that bothers me.

Raise their presence? Is that like raising their cone of power?

If the rain keeps up, the hoodlums won't be out. They don't like to get their guns wet, or themselves.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 06/07/13 - 07:48 am
1
6
"...deputies have been told to include

... all broken streetlights and other items such as missing sewer grates, overgrown shrubbery. (etc)..."

Yeah, addressing that stuff one night a month is the cure.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
10203
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 06/07/13 - 09:13 am
3
3
I agree dstewartsr

That should be done by City Maintenance personnel, not the sheriff's dept. There's no reason a department supervisor or manager can't check on this at night, once a week and compile a list for his day shift crews to correct. It's called common sense scheduling. Make the people you pay to be in charge take responsibility for their departments!!

Riverman1
90427
Points
Riverman1 06/07/13 - 09:58 am
4
0
Reports Help

The police making notes and turning in reports of maintenance issues like burnt out lights and trash puts pressure on the appropriate department to act. Having documented reports by law enforcement officers is hard to ignore. Sure it would be nice if the police noted no deficiencies and maybe that will happen one day if enough reports are generated.

Little Lamb
47947
Points
Little Lamb 06/07/13 - 10:07 am
3
0
No Rush

Fred Russell will likely use his trademarked, “What, me worry?” approach and take his sweet old time to address the deficiencies the sheriff deputies report.

countyman
21299
Points
countyman 06/07/13 - 10:36 am
2
4
Negative nancies

LeConteSkier.. The establishment on here doesn't like for people to have their own opinions..

It's funny how the media rarely mentions crime actually drops on many First Fridays, because of the extra police..

I guess the media would rather focus on getting ratings, and scaring people who live 15-20 miles away.. The media will have to come around sooner or later with all the private construction in Augusta.

Bulldog
1333
Points
Bulldog 06/07/13 - 10:44 am
2
1
Excellent Community Policing!

The Sheriff is making good on his pledge to bring the RCSD into our "Brave New World" of community policing. I would be hard pressed to more pleased with the speed and dimension of the changes being made. The community appears to have made an excellent choice.

seenitB4
93601
Points
seenitB4 06/07/13 - 10:54 am
2
0
ctyman negative ??????

I see many positive thank yous on here.....more than usual I might add...are we reading the same posts......read again please..:)

countyman
21299
Points
countyman 06/07/13 - 12:10 pm
0
5
Harlem

The residents of Harlem sure don't believe they recieve the same amount of sevrice comapared to Evans or Martinez.. Has Riverman seen the condition of the schools in Harlem compared to Evans? Why did Columbia County build Lakeside a new sports complex? Harlem high is much older than Lakeside.

Little Lamb
47947
Points
Little Lamb 06/07/13 - 01:17 pm
2
0
Relevance?

What do Harlem city government and Columbia County schools have to do with Augusta's First Friday celebrations?

Riverman1
90427
Points
Riverman1 06/07/13 - 02:23 pm
3
0
LL....LOL...who knows?

LL....LOL...who knows?

justthefacts
23978
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justthefacts 06/07/13 - 03:38 pm
3
0
Well

Does Harlem have a Five Guys?

countyman
21299
Points
countyman 06/07/13 - 06:51 pm
0
1
Wrong article.... Still

Wrong article.... Still getting used to this microsoft comared to the I Pad. The comment should have been on the Rants and Raves.

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