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Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Authorities say policing changes fueled homicide drop

Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013 6:50 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 12:39 AM
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Richmond County police are crediting an increased community presence with this year’s 42 percent drop in homicides compared with last year.



TOPIC PAGE: Richmond County Crime

“A homicide is never predictable,” said Rich­mond County sheriff’s Lt. Calvin Chew, “but being involved in the community is helping decrease the numbers.”

Chew believes the increased visibility and involvement of community policing has officers diffusing situations that have the potential to escalate into a homicide.

In 2012, the sheriff’s office reported 33 homicides. This year, there have been 19 through the weekend, with the latest taking place early Sunday.

Homicide investigator Sgt. William Leisey said the Criminal Investigation Division has noticed that people have changed their attitudes since the sheriff’s office began focusing on community policing. As a result of increased visibility and more patrols, investigators are seeing fewer parking lot and street shootouts, he said.

Investigators believe community trust also helps witnesses provide information in open cases.

With Sunday’s shooting, only two cases remain unsolved this year, down from four in 2012.

Police have added a new category of justifiable homicides, with one last year and three this year.

Police continue to investigate the death of Yossarian Shon Brooks, 39, who was fatally shot June 11 near his home on Massoit Drive.

“Everything we had on that case, we’ve looked at so far,” Investigator Chris Lang­ford said.

Whereas some years saw more drug-related crimes, investigators said there have been a high number of family-related slayings this year. Eight victims died as a result of a family-related incident.

Five of the homicides occurred in two separate incidents over the summer.

Retired educators Roose­velt and Edna Jones and their son, Russell Jones, were discovered in a field behind Deer Chase Elementary on May 21. Ryan Jones, 27, is accused of killing his parents and younger brother before taking them to the field, where their bodies were burned.

Two months later, police were investigating what could have been another triple homicide. Police believe Cedric Harris, 31, shot ex-wife April Paulk and her sister and brother-in-law, Lee and Brandi Wilson, at a home on Stanton Court on
July 21 before turning the gun on himself. Lee and Bran­di Wilson died, while April Paulk was critically injured.

Police say the most complex case of the year was the Feb. 20 death of 17-month old Kaidence Alexander. Police worked for months interviewing witnesses and speaking with forensics experts, doctors and others to determine the age of the injuries and who was responsible.

In December, police were able to obtain enough evidence to charge the child’s uncle, Jerome Hughs, 36.

2013 HOMICIDES

JAN. 1: Edward Yancy, 21, was shot in the parking lot of Club Fiesco, 2925 Peach Orchard Road. Deontre Alvez Hubert, 18, was charged.

FEB. 22: Kaidence Alexander, 17 months, was hospitalized for internal injuries that resulted in her death. Her uncle, Jerome Hughs, 36, was charged in December.

APRIL 16: Linda Crumbley, 57, died after she and her children, Mario Crumbley, 33, and Dekrizia Crumbley, 27, were shot outside their Biltmore Place home. Steve Alexander Allen, 52, was arrested in Valdosta, Ga.

APRIL 30: Courtney Bell, 23, was shot at the Gordon Highway Red Carpet Inn. Jabali Jerome Howard, 29, was charged.

MAY 21: Roosevelt Jones, 65; Edna Jones, 64; and Russell Jones, 20; were killed at their home and burned in a field off Tobacco Road. The couple’s son, Ryan Jones, 26, was charged.

JUNE 6: Larry Bernard Elam Jr., 31, was shot during an argument at his Milledgeville Avenue home. Darrian Antwonn Williams, 24, was charged.

JUNE 11: Yossarian Shon Brooks, 39, was shot on Massoit Drive. No charges have been filed.

JUNE 30: Angela Lee, 37, was shot during an argument with her husband, Timothy Lee, at her home on Crawfordville Drive. Lee, 34, then killed himself.

JULY 19: Marquez Eubanks, 19, was shot at a house party on East Kensington Drive. Dijon Cortez Abbott, 17, was charged.

JULY 21: Lee Wilson, 31, and his wife Brandi, 35, were shot by her former brother-in-law, Cedric Tobias Harris, 31, who later killed himself.

AUG. 27: Charlie David Davis Jr., 31, was shot. Three men were charged: Curtis Bonman, 30; Killeon Cooper, 20; and Thaddeaus Williams, 33.

SEPT. 17: Datravious Hoskins, 18, was stabbed on Neptune Drive after an argument over a video game system. Zamartae Davis, 15, was charged as an adult.

OCT. 13: James Marshall, 44, was shot at Carrie and D’Antignac streets. Ezra Lay, 44, was charged.

NOV. 11: Delarrion Smith, 18, was shot by his friend, Dominigue Sullivan, 19, who believed the gun was unloaded.

NOV. 22: The body of Dr. Charles Mann, 60, of Kathleen, Ga., was discovered in Spirit Creek after he was reported missing. Glenn Vincent Riggs II, 22, was charged with murder and robbery.

DEC. 29: Ralph Harrell, 40, was shot in the chest at Scottish Inn on Stevens Creek Road.

Comments (14) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 12/29/13 - 10:14 pm
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Results Affirm the Method

Of course, this type of community policing puts a police presence in the neighborhoods with people not afraid to tell officers of potential problems. The results speak to the success of the method.

nocnoc
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nocnoc 12/30/13 - 09:13 am
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Glad to hear of the drop.

But part of the drop is due to LUCK and bad aim.

Remember all those LEG Shootings this past year?

What was the National and state records for last year compared to this year?

Was there a similar drop or were there increases.

Sweet son
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Sweet son 12/30/13 - 05:33 pm
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nocnoc's bad shot observation should be considered!

The actual incidents where firearms were involved might be the same, more or less but the accuracy of shots might have skewed the homicide stats. Wonder how many reports were made when someone was shot and survived in the areas that were 'community policed?'

Pops
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Pops 12/30/13 - 07:18 pm
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I can believe

that they are going to take credit for the drop in homicides. That what political types do.

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 12/30/13 - 11:57 pm
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Don't forget to factor in the

Don't forget to factor in the effort of investigators in solving crimes, especially when they are successful in finding, documenting, and presenting evidence in court. When cases are solved, word gets out about that, too. It has to be daunting to criminals to hear that evidence is being gathered and examined, suspects are going through the hell of trials, criminals are getting convicted and sentenced with at least some jail time. Most criminals are not risk takers as much as opportunists. Now that they are finding out how good are investigators are, that should discourage some types of repeat criminals and their circles of friends.

lifelongresident
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lifelongresident 01/02/14 - 11:27 am
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its called community
Unpublished

its called community policing, putting fully staffed and functioning police precints in government housing projects and in the bad areas of town, getting deputies out of their cars and walking a beat getting to know the law-abiding citizens of the neighborhood (who may offer helpful, but anonymous tips to solve crimes).

nocnoc
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nocnoc 01/02/14 - 01:49 pm
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Have to ask the obvious question

If about 1/2 of all Murders usually are family member or known friend related, resulting from a spontaneous action.

How does Community Policing help?

The economy and ammo shortage could also be credited.

I don't see Community Policing stopping murders by itself.

But I will quickly acknowledge RCSO's arrest rate in finding the murder(s) is likely one of the best in the Southeast.

Riverman1
87133
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Riverman1 01/02/14 - 05:28 pm
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@Nocnoc

NocNoc, community policing helps by family members and people in the community being much more willing to talk to the cops they know in the community. If a family member is acting strangely, talking to an officer about the person can result in a saved life by the officer talking to the person and taking numerous actions. If there's a problem with drug gangs, ditto.

Look at the statistics in the city of Charleston when Chief Rueben Greenberg instituted community policing. There was a dramatic drop in crime just as we see here. Greenberg has written extensively about the positive effects of community policing. It is real, not some made-up thing.

Riverman1
87133
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Riverman1 01/02/14 - 05:48 pm
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corgimom
34215
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corgimom 01/02/14 - 06:10 pm
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Or maybe the drug wars have

Or maybe the drug wars have subsided a bit.

corgimom
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corgimom 01/02/14 - 06:11 pm
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Given how criminals plea

Given how criminals plea bargain, and even if they do go to prison, get released early, I don't think they are too scared of getting caught.

Look at the amount of crime reported versus the arrests.

rebellious
21305
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rebellious 01/03/14 - 02:52 am
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So

If next year Homicides go up, what will be the conclusion then? Is it like switching insurance where the effects of new policy reduce homicides each year until we have .8 homicides? This whole article and the claims of the department are as logical as a weatherman claiming credit for good weather. In fact, less logical! At least the weatherman can see what fronts and weather is coming from the West.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/03/14 - 12:29 pm
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Let's Think About This

Saying or thinking policing methods have nothing to do with the crime rate has me shaking my head. Do we actually believe no matter what the police do, crime stays the same? Should officers stay in the office all day because there’s a belief, misguided as it is, what they do has no bearing on crime? In that case, should we even have a police department of any kind?

Community policing has been demonstrated to be an effective method to involve the community and lower the crime rate. In Augusta, it was instituted when a new administration took over from one that refused to look at new policing methods. The crime rate dropped and the murder rate in particular dramatically. That’s enough to show a relationship to me.

Understand if another method of policing comes along that is shown to be effective, I’ll be for it, too. Until then having the officers and leaders proactive in the community appears to be the best method instead of throwing up your hands and saying nothing the RCSO does matters.

SemperParatus
3225
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SemperParatus 01/03/14 - 09:23 pm
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Memphis is reporting a

Memphis is reporting a similar result. Here's a Memphis news piece released today which offers some specifics which should be of interest to our law enforcement officials:

WREG News 3 - Memphis is a safer city than it was this time last year.

According to police numbers, homicides dropped slightly in 2013, and most major US cities saw a similar trend.

There were ten less homicides in 2013 than the year before, and though the number may be relatively small, the city says a lot went into making that happen.

Unfortunately, parts of Memphis can be known for crime, but Ken Baker is noticing a difference.

“We still have our issues, but overall I have seen it reduce, especially downtown since I work downtown,” said Baker.

His observation is backed up by the numbers.

According to Memphis police, there were 129 murders in 2013 compared to 139 in 2012.

Bobby White, with Mayor A C Wharton’s office, says the biggest cause of the reduction is the Memphis Police Department’s community policing approach.

Part of community policing is embedding certain officers in specific neighborhoods and schools so they can get to know the people in the area and be ready to stop crime before it happens.

“These men and women who go out on the streets every day and put themselves in harm’s way just deserve all of our respect and we can look at the numbers and see they continue to have great impact out there in the community,” said White.

Mayor A C Wharton’s office also launched the Memphis Gun Down program in 2013 and they call it a success.

The program fights crimes by targeting specific people who committing crimes and partnering faith-based and other programs to offer education and mentor opportunities for teenagers.

“We just continue to stay the course and just keep our nose to the grindstone and I know we will see positive things moving forward in 2014,” said White.

White says Memphis Gun Down took some tips from Chicago who saw a massive drop in murders last year.

Chicago launched its own $55 million program that got 20,000 young people into summer school and part-time jobs.

In return the city reduced murders 17 percent to 415, and Chicago PD has taken more than 6,500 illegal guns of the streets since last year.

Despite the sharp fall, Chicago still had the most murders in the country last year.

Other major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, and LA also saw sharp decreases.

Riverman1
87133
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Riverman1 01/04/14 - 12:52 pm
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Community policing is

Community policing is becoming the predominant method of policing for city law enforcement agencies over the country. Look at my link above if you have doubts about its growth and success.

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