Private company offers to pay for more deputies in downtown Augusta

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News12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Commission seal

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A private company and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office could be teaming up to keep you safe downtown. This move comes after an anonymous donor offered $10,000 for information leading to an arrest of downtown attackers.

Deputies have already told News 12 they're adding more patrols downtown, but a private company could add even more. Both sides are eager to team up and keep downtown safe and secure.

"One thing we want to do is get camera systems downtown," said Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton.

Recently, they've added more patrols downtown. Sheriff Richard Roundtree is getting estimates on six different surveillance systems as well.

"The Sheriff's Office wants to run the system. We want to decide where the cameras are deployed," Clayton said.

"Next commission meeting, we will come back with that holistic approach," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

City leaders will be presented with a package plan. It will include how much of the shrubbery should be cut, the cost of adding cameras and how many deputies are needed.

A private meeting Wednesday morning could roll safety plans out a lot quicker.

"We just met with a private sector industry that is willing to fund extra duty officers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It will be during peak hours," Clayton said.

The fact that no suspects are in custody over the Riverwalk attack that injured two or the fight that's gone viral is a huge concern to Augusta commissioners.

"I don't know why folks are so angry and we have to display such behavior out in the public," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

"I think we will make a difference in downtown. We will not let the bad outweigh the good," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

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