BURKE COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - Sheriff Alfonzo Williams came in the door with big goals to reach and a very aggressive agenda; all in an effort to make Burke County safer.
"Consistently over the past year our violent crime is down 82% . . . our property crimes are down 52% consistently.", says Sheriff Alfonzo Williams with the Burke County Sheriff's Office.
At the start of the sheriff's year he asked for nearly $800,000 and was able to get the money. Some of it was grant money from Governor's Highway Safety to reduce fatalities and accidents, and the Housing Authority to provide security, and to purchase body cams. Getting these types of grants is not easy.
"They are competitive obviously there is a small pot of money and everybody is going after that money but I think if you can justify the request and can show the need – we've been able to do that and the government has been very responsive to us.", says Sheriff Williams.
The more grant money they can bring in the less burden is on the local tax payers. Another improvement was redoing the salary structure here at the sheriff's office; there were some employees being paid below the poverty line.
"The Sheriff cares and he shows that to his people that he cares and makes sure we get the proper equipment ,the proper tool and the proper salaries. Those are the things that are going to keep the office 100% fully staffed and that is why we are 100% fully staffed.", says Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard with the Burke County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff believes he has a qualified team that does a new style of policing with being active in the community going above the job title. The Burke County Sheriff's Office was very active from last years Christmas drives and turkey drives in the county and not forgetting their popular Facebook page with viral post; that is a vital tool for awareness and out reach.
"My favorite bible verse says the son of man came not to be served but to serve we are here to serve these people we are here to give Burke County what they deserve and what they pay taxes for. We are not just serving enforcement, we are serving kids and we are serving those in need.", says Sheriff Williams.