New system targets heavier crime areas in Richmond Co.

New system targets heavier crime areas in Richmond Co.

LINCOLN COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has adopted a new system that will change they way its deputies patrol the county.

They will use a new system to analyze where crime occurs the most and will put more deputies in those areas.

Some residents in Augusta think this is a good idea because of what they perceive as growing crime in the city.

"When I was growing up in Augusta, normally, we just knew about drugs and maybe gangs a little bit but as time goes on, as I've grown into my adulthood, I've kind of heard more about shootings around the city, especially in public places that are kind of scary," said Andre Goodman, an Augusta native. "That makes you really not want to go out in the evening, depending on the side of town you are in."

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office hopes its plan will help with the more troubling neighborhoods.

"Before we had beats throughout the county, we were broken down into two zones: north and south," said Lt. Lewis Blanchard, with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. "Now we're broken down into eight zones and that allows our lieutenants to deploy to each of those zones. Our eight lieutenants are responsible for a much smaller area."

The new plan allows deputies to be more responsive to what goes on in Richmond County, Blanchard said.

"It's easier for them to police, get to know the community, work with community policing, and work with problem-oriented policing," Blanchard said. "Their zone area, being smaller, allows them to go out to do what they need to do to actually problem solve."

And some Augusta residents like the idea of establishing a relationship with law enforcement.

"When I was a student at Augusta State, now GRU, one of the things I enjoyed the most, especially with our public safety, is that we got to know them personally and so we felt really conformable talking to campus police," Goodman said. "I know the city is a larger scale for Richmond County Sheriff's Office but I think that same concept and approach will be helpful because it does really establish a better connection with the community."

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