Originally created 10/31/00

Sheriff's department should make crime data available 103100 - The Augusta Chronicle



I've lived in Augusta for more than six years. Moving to a city this large, and with a violent crime level higher than I was accustomed to, has taken some adjustment.

About four years ago, I made a call to the Richmond County Sheriff's Department to inquire about crime statistics in various neighborhoods, because my line of work required me to visit many areas with which I was not familiar, and I needed an objective resource to present to my clients.

The city where I attended college published a weekly map noting crimes, much as does the Columbia County paper. I wondered if similar statistics were available anywhere for Richmond County.

I was told by then Capt. Ronnie Strength that Richmond County did not have the technology available to process such data, and that mostly it was pressure from the area real estate agents that kept such information from being published, as it might affect property values.

I have a hard time believing that it would take a super computer to compile this data. Furthermore, if homeowners are so worried about their property values, then they should take a pro-active stance in crime awareness and reporting.

What really bothers me now is that I see on Mr. Strength's television ad, that he "has a plan" to further reduce crime in Richmond County. I wonder how he plans to do that without data on where crime is happening? ...

I. Aultman, Augusta