Richmond County’s Operation Grace is targeting gang crime

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 8:02 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office says they’re taking a stand against gang violence with Operation Grace.

Deputies arrested dozens at two checkpoints. They also found guns and drugs and made 29 arrests, 16 of them DUIs.

We also wanted to know what parts of the community the sheriff’s office is targeting. We have a breakdown of the numbers and answers from the sheriff’s office.

Here is a breakdown of Operation Grace. In one day, the sheriff’s office seized:

  • 6 pounds of marijuana
  • 5.6 grams of cocaine
  • 67.8 grams of meth
  • 177 prescription pills
  • 11 guns

Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton says Wednesday’s checkpoints paid off.

“We saved some lives,” he said.

Clayton says the main goal for Operation Grace was traffic safety ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“We had no traffic fatalities. We didn’t have any homicides as well,” he said.

Clayton says they use data to target which hotspot areas need more police resources.

“We tend to deploy our resources where they are needed. The high crime areas is where we are going to put most of our resources, and unfortunately in those areas, those people are going to be African American,” said Clayton.

Clayton also says it’s no secret crime is a social-economic issue as well.

“The poor people are the most victimized by violent crime, and we are trying to protect them from the chronic predatory offenders that they prey on the poor,” he said

Clayton says it isn’t just about punishing crime. They’re trying to prevent it, too.

The sheriff’s office has programs like Augusta Giving Back, which is aimed to help those who endure the effects of gun violence on a daily basis.

“We do care about you, you do have a voice, and we are asking for you to help us to help you,” he said.

Other agencies involved with Operation Grace include the FBI, ATF, the U.S. Marshals Service, Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

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