Exclusive interview: Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. discusses crime crisis

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’re hearing from Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. in an exclusive interview.

Almost two months ago, Davis gave a passionate speech claiming he had a plan to stop violent crime on our streets.

We’ve heard nothing about this plan.

Davis said nothing specific but gave a preview of what’s to come. He says next week, his office will unveil his “Violence Reduction Plan,” which will address housing, joblessness, and mental health, all centered on community engagement.

“That’s the hallmark of what we’re going to talk about next week on violence reduction standpoint. You have to engage every sector of our community, but you’ve also got to engage those people who live in those communities,” he said.

While no timeline or money amount was confirmed, Davis says his new violence reduction plan will begin to be resourced his accomplishments he says have reduced crime already.

“We’ve got more money in the bank than we’ve had in the last 30 years. Our reserves are substantial. We continue to end roads where that’s concerned. The amount of jobs. When I took office, unemployment was at six percent, we’re at 3.2 percent,” said Davis.

He says this will be pushed towards introducing new laws, bringing in more affordable housing, like tiny homes, and more security, like neighborhood crime watchers, when you’re away from home.

He still says the key to this is community engagement, which he also addresses can solve more of Augusta’s recent gang violence.

“You live in a safe city. These are isolated events, isolated incidents, and the actors who commit these crimes, we know where they live,” he said. “There is a higher incidence of those communities of color who were hit the hardest during the pandemic. That’s where you’re seeing the majority of your criminal activity taking place.”

For now, we’ll see how much can happen in the three months he has left.

“Everything rises and falls on leadership,” he said.