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CSRA Law enforcement leaders discuss diversity in town hall

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 11:11 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The 100 Black Men of Augusta hosted the discussion on social justice, violence prevention and public safety this evening.

The panelists included North Augusta Public Safety Chief John Thomas, Richmond County Marshall Ramone Lampkin, and Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams.

The leader met on Zoom to host a Q&A session where the public could write in questions or concerns to the leaders.

One major discussion throughout the event was the importance of diversity in policing.

“I think it’s more than just hiring officers who reflect the communities that they serve. I think a lot of it is just ensuring that the officers that we do hire, that we do have on staff, have the requisite training to go out and employ those interpersonal skills in the community,” Sheriff Williams said. “I don’t think you have to be black to understand black children in the black community. I think we just have to have a servant’s heart. I think you have to understand their plight, understand their historical perspective.”

Augusta District Attorney Jared Williams also spoke about diversifying his office as well.

“We’ve quadrupled the amount of diversity in the office. From day one. And that’s, I’m happy about that, but we’re growing in that regard as well we can still do better. Recruitment is really important,” DA Williams said.

The leaders also talked about the importance of community outreach programs, maintaining mental health while on the job, and getting guns off of the streets and out of the hands of youth especially.

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