Violence downtown prompts downtown businesses to discuss safety - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Violence downtown prompts downtown businesses to discuss safety

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In a YouTube video recorded downtown, about a dozen young adults fighting on the sidewalks on Broad Street. This scene, a shock to business owners, like Shama Cartwright, who owns a shop less than a block from where the brawl took place.

"That was the first time I've seen anything like that downtown," Cartwright said.

And less than a week ago a couple sitting on a park bench along The Riverwalk was attacked by two men who robbed then beat them with aluminum baseball bats.

Now there's talk of the city installing security cameras in these areas.

"If we have that area posted saying, 'This area is under surveillance with video cameras,' I think that will criminals will go elsewhere to commit their crimes," said Commissioner William Fennoy.

While security cameras might keep criminals away from the area, people think there's a better way to decrease the violence.

"I would feel much more secure, and even more secure if there were police down here," said Helen Griffin, she works downtown and walks along the Riverwalk everyday during her lunch break.

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office says they have increased security downtown, but says there will always be a larger crowd than the number of police around. Which is why they also rely on the public for help.

"With our community policing program we got going on right now, and the traffic division that our sheriff has put into effect, our new traffic division, it's actually given us more road deputies," said Sgt. Michael McDaniel with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Which is what Cartwright wants to see. He's owned his shop for more than a decade, and wants to continue running it downtown.

"It's peaceful out here," Cartwright said. "I like it, and I think the city has potential."

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