Is sheriff’s crackdown making a difference in crime? Here’s what he says

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 1:58 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 9:22 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and FBI on Wednesday afternoon announced the results of what they’ve dubbed Operation Grace, a three-month crackdown on crime.

While leaders touted it as a success, records show 71 homicides or assaults involving guns were committed between July and August.


We got the chance to ask Sheriff Richard Roundtree about the recent string of violence.

He said despite the recent incidents of gun violence we experienced in Richmond County, programs like Operation Grace are vital to the overall safety of the public.


We asked him how he and others plan to reach individuals before the guns and gangs get to them.

“I’ll let the DA answer that,” he said.

Richmond County District Attorney Jared Williams said: “We have a number of programs we have been working through, but we don’t have enough. We have to keep working on this.”

Roundtree said: “Those programs, those efforts we are doing those, but at some point, parents are going to have to take responsibility.”

Roundtree says he has one mission: “Taking these offenders off our streets is one of the keys to making our people and community a safer place.”

Operation Grace was launched in July, about three months into a surge in deadly crimes across the CSRA that’s hit Augusta especially hard.

“These individuals are putting themselves in situations where they are likely to be violent,” he said.

Roundtree is asking for the community to support; not only each other but also law enforcement.

“Support these activities that are helping instead of saying so much and beating down the people who are out there doing it each and every day, laying their lives out there, bashing them because you want to be a social media star,” he said.

Williams says more partnerships are needed and to be proactive in helping with gun and gang violence.

“We spoke to a school, and when I was driving up, I recognized gang activity on one of the cars at the school. What that tells me is if they are in the schools, we have to be in the schools,” he said.

Roundtree said: “We want the citizens to know you do have a voice and a voice that we hear.”

Ironically, as he was holding the news conference, deputies were called to the scene of a suspicious death on Castleton Court off Old Louisville Road.

Surge in slayings

Since mid-April, there’s been a wave of homicides and other sweeping the CSRA.

Although as the largest city, Augusta has been hit especially hard, the crime wave is affecting places large and small.

Here’s a look the homicides and suspicious deaths since mid-April across the CSRA: