News 12 First at Five, November 15, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga. - The phrase "Take Back the Streets" has new meaning. Among the dozens arrested in Operation Augusta Ink, 3 were high school students.
"Take Back the Streets" Director Sergeant Richard Roundtree says it should serve as a wake up call.
"It's a wakeup call to the youth to let them know that this activity has not gone unnoticed...that we're monitoring and we're taking a proactive approach," said Roundtree.
The three students who were arrested under Operation Augusta Ink attended Westside High School, Academy of Richmond County and Bungalow Road Alternative School.
News 12 talked to the principal of the alternative school, Dr. Wayne Frazier, who says gang members aren't welcomed there.
"It's not safe for gang members to be here," said Dr. Frazier,"Our environment won't allow that type on mentality so it won't last long inside of this building."
But outside the classroom, school leaders can't control student's actions. That's why Richmond County Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden thinks the gang problem is a community problem.
"I would not jump to say that we have a gang problem because gang members have to go to school, so when there's a community issue it becomes a school issue," said Dr. Bedden.
Whether it's a school issue or a community issue -- if it involves breaking the law, officers say age doesn't matter and cite Operation Augusta Ink as proof that criminals will be taken off the streets.
"It's one of the most powerful messages that we're sending to this community. It's a new day in Augusta. It brings hope to this community that law enforcement and the community is not going to stand for this in their streets," said Roundtree.