Augusta leaders hold out hope for crime-troubled apartments

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 6:31 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s been two weeks since Augusta Commission member Catherine Smith McKnight held a news conference in front of the Fox Den Apartments, calling for more safety measures in the area.

It’s in a part of Augusta off Wrightsboro Road clustered with apartment complexes that tend to attract a large amount of crime.

Among the latest crimes was a home invasion around midnight Tuesday on Fox Trace. The victim said several people kicked in the front door of his apartment and assaulted him and shot him in the foot.

We asked the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office for crime numbers, and this is what we got: Thirty-seven calls of crime through last month. That’s on pace to top last year of 70 calls.

What’s concerning about that is last year’s total calls match the three years before then combined.

On Friday, we spoke to the city of Augusta and the apartment complex about what they’re doing to slow down crime.

There have always been questions about the apartments formerly known as Fox Den and now known as The Landings. We’ve heard commissioners speak up about improvements needing to be made to apartments across the city. The tools are here, and city leaders hope it helps cut down on crime.

The Landings’ owners and city leaders say they have new security measures in place to help cut down on crime.

“Whatever it takes to make things better in Augusta as far as safety and protecting the citizens,” says McKnight.

Two weeks ago, she held a news conference calling for a change at The Landing.

McKnight and John Clarke, District 10 commissioner, say they both met with the new owners of the complex that’s now known as The Landing.

“I haven’t seen in a long time an owner over in that area or in other areas around that really cares about what’s to be done there,” says McKnight.

We spoke with one of the owners of the property.

They’ve added two high-tech cameras out front that feed information directly to the sheriff’s office. A new gate is being installed that only tenants will have access to open.

“They’re making progress. More so than anybody else has that’s been there,” McKnight says.

Commissioners say more needs to be done after two shootings in two weeks.

Clarke said: “A life doesn’t mean anything anymore.” He says people need to be the ones to lead change.

“You can’t put everything on the owner of any property you have to put the big majority of the problems in the complex squarely where they belong and that’s on the people that live there,” Clarke says.

Both commissioners argue more funding is needed to help cut down on crime.

“We’ll get the funding for it. One way, we’ll get the funding,” says Clarke.

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