Reported crimes in Augusta are decreasing

Thursday, May 29, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The search continues for 26-year-old murder suspect Daniell Frank Simmons who goes by the nickname "Donkey." He has recognizable face tattoos: stars and the number three. He also has tattoos on his upper body and his arms. They believe he shot and killed twenty two year old Curtis Carter last night in Augusta's tenth homicide of the year.

It might surprise some folks, but this year Richmond County deputies say they've seen the least amount of crime reported since 2012. A lot of that they believe is thanks to a few new efforts being put forth by deputies.

Annie Hall lives off of 2nd Avenue, just down the street from where Curtis Carter was shot.

"There's crime everywhere, crime is everywhere," she said.

But according to Richmond County deputies, crime is on the decline.

"Right now it appears that everything is still dropping in crime numbers," Sgt. Shane McDaniel said.

Just about a year ago deputies began the community policing program and they say it's working for a few reasons.

"When we build confidence, and we build trust, and we build this strong relationship with the community then what used to take five working days for a case to be solved, now is taking twenty four hours," Sgt. McDaniel said.

Last year, deputies investigated 7,970 crimes. This year, investigators have had 7,782 crimes, a difference of 144 crimes. Both of those are a huge drop from 2012 when there were 8,401 crimes. From 2012 until now Richmond County has had more than 500 less crimes.

But folks like Annie haven't noticed much change.

"It's everywhere, everywhere, it's not going, it's everywhere," she said.

But Sgt. McDaniel says most likely we'll continue to see these numbers decrease. People should expect to see more deputies patrolling the roads. They are also enacting a new zoning method in order to focus on certain areas that are at higher risk for crime. These will also lead to overlapping shifts for deputies meaning more officers on the streets.

"We're here, we're here for you, we're here for the community. We're here to provide a safe environment, a safe community, a safe Richmond County," Sgt. McDaniel said.

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