Burke County has two new police chiefs -- one in Waynesboro and one in Sardis -- who are working to crack down on crime. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 5, 2011)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Aug. 5, 2011
BURKE COUNTY, Ga. -- Two new police chiefs are taking a bite out of crime in Burke Bounty.
They are cleaning up the streets in Waynesboro and Sardis and have made more than seven drug busts in the past few months. They are also locking up suspects who have been on the run for a while.
"We realized that we have a major problem with drugs in this town and there hasn't been much enforcement in the city," said Chief Alfonzo Williams.
He is Waynesboro's newest police chief. Williams has implemented new programs to better the community, including the creation of a drug unit with two investigators.
"Part of the problem was that former administration did not put a lot on emphasis on that particular area," he said. "We had to make a lot of changes in administration."
He said the department is paying close attention to street activity and cracking down on crime and drugs.
"We have made about four major drug busts and confiscated cars an cash," he said.
The department also shut down four suspected liquor houses and made more than 10 arrests for the busts.
Williams said the department has cut crime down by 50 percent in five months because the officers in his administration are aggressive.
"We are trying a new approach and new ideas for this city," he said. "In a short amount of time, it is working for us."
This new approach is working for the Sardis police department, too. Chief Chief Gary Jones says he is listening to the community and making changes.
"Some citizens here are tired of all the drug activity, weapons and the shootings that have taken place late at night or early in the morning," Jones said.
But not anymore. Jones says his priority is upgrading the department to effectively clean up the streets.
"We have made a aggressive approach to drug interdiction by traffic stops and other measures," he said. "In the past few days, we made three drug busts."
He is not working alone. The Burke County Sheriff's Office and Williams are on his side.
"A lot of time when people are trouble in Waynesboro, they come to hide out in Sardis and vice versus," he said.
But this may no longer be an option for criminals on the run with two new leaders at the helm -- the chiefs says it's jail time if you do not follow the rules.
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