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Harlem officers can use Tasers

Officers of the Harlem Department of Public Safety will begin carrying Tasers today.

A policy allowing the six department officers to use Tasers for combative and threatening suspects was approved unanimously by the Harlem City Council at Monday night's monthly meeting.

Tasers fire two probes that pierce the skin and transmit 50,000 volts of electrical pulses into the body for five seconds. The device temporarily incapacitates someone by taking away muscle control.

According to the department's policy, only combative suspects who pose a physical threat to themselves, others or the officer can be shot with a Taser. Harlem officers also carry OC spray.

The department purchased six Tasers for $600 each last fall. All six officers have attended operator and instructor training from Taser International.

Man is accused of molesting 15-year-old

An Augusta man who picked up a 15-year-old girl from her home and drove her to a motel to have consensual sex early Monday has been charged with child molestation, according to Richmond County Sgt. Richard Roundtree.

Donald Harden, 30, of the 500 block of Aiken Street, was a friend of the girl's family, Sgt. Roundtree said.

He left with the girl at about 3 a.m. Monday and returned about five hours later, Sgt. Roundtree said.

The girl's mother, who had reported her daughter missing, alerted police afterward.

Pitts resigns seat on aviation commission

Terry Pitts, the legislative appointee to the Augusta General Aviation Commission, resigned at Monday's monthly meeting.

He said he was leaving because of a recent move to Columbia County. He said he would miss working with the other members of the commission and was grateful for his time on the panel.

Also Monday, the commission approved allowing the Augusta Utilities Administration to use the airport's easement for a new water line. The agreement, if approved by the Augusta-Richmond County Commission, will pay the airport $29,165.

Fire at home sends 2 people to hospital

An early morning house fire in Evans sent a woman and her son to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for evaluation, according to Martinez Fire Department spokeswoman Honey Shore.

Fire investigators think the fire began at about 2 a.m. in the woman's garage in the 600 block of Chimney Hill Circle, but they are not sure how it started, she said. It does not appear that foul play was involved.

Officials investigate early morning fire

Officials with the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department are investigating a fire that started at 1015 13th Ave. at about 4:30 a.m., according to Lt. G.B. Hannan.

Lt. Hannan said people were inside during the fire but that everyone got out safely.

A preliminary investigation suggests the fire was accidental, possibly caused by wiring, he said.

Police tackle man with gun inside pants

An Augusta man was arrested at the Silver Bullet Lounge at 2423 Milledgeville Road early Sunday after a patron told police the man had pulled up his shirt to show a pistol in the waist of his pants, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

Christopher Garcia, 23, of the 2500 block of Milledgeville Road, is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and obstruction of an officer, the report said.

When deputies attempted to speak with Mr. Garcia, he began to reach inside his jeans - prompting them to wrestle him to the floor. They found a loaded pistol in his pants, the report said.

Asphalt paving will close road during day

Dodge Lane in Columbia County will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting today and continuing until March 6.

The closure is for asphalt paving of the road. Motorists are asked to use an alternate route.

- From staff reports

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jose 02/20/07 - 02:12 am
if Harlem can find a way to

if Harlem can find a way to have officers carry Tasers, why can Richmond County find a way to do the same? 2 officers had to wrestle a man to the ground because he had a concealed weapon. Tasers are proven by the Georgia State Patrol, Cincinatti Police Department And Georgia Pardon and Parole to stop a threat without causing harm to both subject and police officer. Richmond County needs to come forward and give officers a proven way to subdue combative subjects without hurting suspects and officers. Taser,Inc has case studies on thier website to support the facts.

crymeariver 02/20/07 - 07:13 am
They shoulda just popped a

They shoulda just popped a cap in his butt! Problem solved.

cheaters. 02/20/07 - 08:32 am
Why in the world does this

Why in the world does this big city of Harlem need Taser Guns? I'm sure that this money could have been better spent on something else. Why?

ibade 02/20/07 - 09:31 am
Yea Richmond County get the

Yea Richmond County get the Taser Guns approved. These officers are putting their life on the line for us.They need all the help they can get.Because I'm pretty sure they don't like killing someone no more than you would.If it works, go for it.And I'll be glad when they clean up the South side. I live there and I'm seeing too many new faces in the neighborhood that don't live there. If there is someone I can talk to let me know.

Da Voice Inside Your Head
Da Voice Inside Your Head 02/20/07 - 10:20 am
What I want to know is why in

What I want to know is why in the H**l Is the Augusta Commission is going to pay $29,165.00 dollars to the Avation Commisssion. I thought the land belonged to the taxpayers anyway. All these commissions are a joke. Just a way to give the"Civic Minded" people a chance to punch their ticket on the way to something else. If we had commissioners who weren't idiots, they could handle all the business of the county. But because they have the brains of a knat you have to have "Oversight". Why an avation commission anyway? They sure aren't doing a very good job. The Augusta air patch is a multi million dollar waste of money, all show and no go! Stop the "Sweet" deal that Augusta Avation is getting at Daniel Field and put it up for sale or use it as a site for the "NEW" civic center. Bush Field is under used anyway and you don't have to worry about the small planes getting in the way of all those "BIG JETS" coming to Augusta. (HA HA!). Someone use their common sense for a change and do the needed things first and the "NICE" things later if needed. That's called setting priorities. Fat Chance of that happening.

NEone 02/20/07 - 12:31 pm
Rayjen: You're proof that no

Rayjen: You're proof that no matter what gets done, SOMEONE will complain about it.

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