Sheriff proposes adding 32 surveillance cameras and 6 deputies d - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Sheriff proposes adding 32 surveillance cameras and 6 deputies downtown

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Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree is proposing a new Downtown Safety Enhancement Program that would increase the number of deputies patrolling downtown from three to nine.

Roundtree also hopes to install 32 security cameras along Broad Street and the Riverwalk.

"I would feel safer," said Tiffany Justice who walks downtown nearly every day.

But before Roundtree installs surveillance cameras and increases the number of downtown deputies, property owners will have to buy into the proposal.

"Ultimately they will be paying the price for it. They will be footing the bill," Roundtree, said.

But Roundtree doesn't think that will be a problem because it's the same bill they've been paying through the Business Improvement District for the CADI Program for the past five years.

He says since CADI's out of the picture, if the majority of property owners agree to proposal, they would tax themselves the same amount they did for CADI. That would pay for the six additional deputies and their bikes and patrol cars.

"We think this is going to enhance safety downtown for 5, 10, 20 years to come," said Roundtree.

Roundtree says the Commission will identify how to pay about $350,000 for 32 security cameras. He says they'll also ask property owners if they want to chip in $2,000 for a camera for their storefront.

"Two thousand dollars for some may seem like a large investment, but when you're thinking about the safety and security of your family and of the city it's relatively small," Roundtree, said.

Justice says she doesn't know if that will be an easy sell.

"Businesses down here aren't doing very well. But then again, it could be good because if people know that business has invested in security cameras or they have security floating around it could bring people in."

The Public Safety Committee endorsed the proposal Monday but it still needs approval from the full Commission as well as 51% of downtown property owners. 


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