Saturday, May 10th, 2014
Augusta, GA (WRDW)- Teen crime rates go up during the summer months. We saw that with several teen shootings last summer. Now, the Sheriff's Office is getting ready to make sure that doesn't happen again.
"It's heartbreaking to hear the things that go on during the summertime," said Doris Williams.
Last summer was it was especially heart breaking for Doris Williams, a mother of 7, when she found out 19 year old Marquez Eubanks was shot and killed at a party close to her home.
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office said there is a rise in juvenile crime during the summer months. The most common crime they see is fighting.
"This group, and that group, and it will get heated, and hot weather, crowded. What ends up happening is we see a small fight, and we see that a lot," said Sgt. Shane McDaniel.
That wasn't the only teen shooting last summer. A shootout at a party resulted in 8 teens charged with unlawful gang activity.
Numbers show in 2010 juvenile offenders were involved in 8 percent of homicides. A third of juvenile violent crimes happen after school,
and those teen crime rates go up during the summer months
McDaniel says community policing was the key to solving last year's crimes, and thinks it will help curb the violence this summer.
Plus, he said they plan to be out in full force.
"We get our deputies, we get our crime suppression team, we get who's with us, our traffic division, if Georgia State Patrol, is working that night they'll come out," said Shane McDaniel.
Williams believes putting kids in summer programs may prevent them from getting involved in the wrong crowd.
"Don't be a follower because sometimes you can wander off into the wrong direction, and the programs is what's pulled them back in," said Williams.
Last summer, Williams put her seven children in programs at the Boys and Girls Club. she said keeping them busy is key, and believes that will make for a safe summer.
"The programs is what keeps them out of trouble. The teens tend to get into a lot of stuff over the summer, but we have to watch them. We have to watch our children very closely," said Williams.
The Boys and Girls Club has an 8 week summer camp which offers extended hours. The YMCA also has summer teen programs available.