How deputies are focusing on curbing crime in Augusta
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’re sitting down with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office about the steps to make streets safer.
It comes after two shootings in less than 12 hours.
Monday around 9:30 a.m. on D’Antignac Street, a few blocks from Laney High School, we know one man was shot. His condition is unknown.
Deputies are also investigating a shooting Sunday night at the Dogwood Terrace Apartments on Old Savannah Road. That’s about five minutes from the D’Antignac Street shooting. We’re told a man was shot in the arm but is expected to be OK.
These shootings come amid an overall uptick in shootings in recent weeks that’s claimed several lives.
As of this week, deputies say they’re implementing a new technology to help identify and stop that violent crime from happening in Richmond County.
Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said: “Everything we do, the bad guys react to it, so we have to do something different.”
That something different is called a “flock camera.”
“Which are analytical cameras that give us capabilities that are great,” he said.
Twenty-five cameras are set to go up in various places around Augusta and can help alert deputies of potential crimes.
“We can actually, with gang members, if we have the tag numbers on their cars and their ID data, we can put pictures up. There are all kinds of different things we can do,” said Clayton
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Every week, the sheriff’s agency holds hotspot mapping meetings to look at past crimes and stats to determine where to focus resources. That’s how deputies know where these cameras need to be placed.
“Aimlessly having the deputies ride around isn’t going to help you. What we found is when we target and what we know from the data is we’re more likely to prevent crime if we’re in the hotspot areas when and where the crimes occur,” he said.
The agency says it’s down 100 deputies. This is the best strategy to focus resources and prevent violent crimes from happening.
The agency says deputies will go into these hotspots, but they have to be there for around 9 to 11 minutes. They can’t just roll through. Clayton says they’re going to continue doing these road patrols moving forward.
“That’s the way that we need to get the biggest buck for the citizens,” said Clayton.
A surge in slayings
The CSRA has been seeing an overall surge in violent crime over the past few weeks, mostly in Richmond County. Many of the crimes have been deadly, including these:
- Late May 3, Charles L. Bradley, 49, of Aiken was found shot dead inside a car at Hampton Avenue and Assembly Street in Aiken. The shooting was one of three gunfire incidents that night in Aiken. No one was hurt in the other incidents.
- A shooting just before 7:30 p.m. April 23 claimed the life of Rodriquez Dunn, 31, at the Olmstead Homes in the 2100 block of B Street in Augusta. Dunn suffered at least one gunshot wound and died at the scene.
- On April 19, Brittany Dougherty was found slain outside a vacant home in the 1500 block of Conklin Lane. Her death was considered suspicious from the start, but within hours the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office ruled her death a homicide.
- On April 18, Johnnie Coleman was found shot dead in the 1900 block of Old Savannah Road. Authorities released a photo of a car suspected to have been linked to that slaying. Kelvin Lewis, 33, has been arrested as a suspect in the murders of Coleman and Dougherty.
- Jenefer Holt Herron, 52, of Augusta, died late April 18 after being shot during an argument outside the Circle K at 1739 Walton Way in Augusta. Suspect Yelena Buckner, 33, of Augusta, was later found and arrested on charges of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, deputies reported.
- JaJuan Russell, 21, of Augusta, was fatally shot early April 17 in the 3700 block of Oslo Road in Augusta. Russell was taken to Augusta University Medical Center.
- Sandersville police found the body of a man April 16 inside a home on Gwendolyn Street while responding to a report of a domestic dispute at the address. Santavious Louis Roberts, 35, of Sandersville, was arrested.
- Brandon Peebles, 24, of Girard, was shot around 10:45 p.m. April 14 in the 2300 block of Prague Court. He was pronounced dead at 11:23 p.m.
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