City leader says she has a creative way to help crime in downtown Augusta
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a shooting left one man dead early Sunday morning. Commissioner Catherine Smith-McKnight says she would like to see changes in downtown Augusta.
“We’ve got a lot of great businesses downtown, it’s the heart of Augusta,” she says. “Last weekend and this weekend, we’ve had three shootings. Augusta has a safe downtown.”
Commissioner McKnight put an item on Tuesday's Commission agenda to see what, if anything, the city can do to tighten up security in downtown. She says one thing that might be bringing in an unwanted crowd downtown is food trucks operating late into the night.
“Food trucks don’t need to be operating until 2-3 a.m. In the morning," she says. “To me, it just brings more people, at a time of the morning, that we really don’t need people downtown being out at that time of morning.. We just don’t.”
She says if the trucks are allowed to operate, that proper security should be in place while they're open.
Concerns have also been raised about if the crime wave will bleed over into this weekend's downtown Augusta pride celebrations. FOX54 reached out to the pride organizers, they tell us that all security will be handled by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
One recent shooting happened near a buffalo wing food truck, in a Facebook post the business says it will no longer be operating downtown after the property owner evicted them.
Despite recent crime waves, Commissioner McKnight says downtown Augusta is still a safe place.
“It’s a safe downtown, we do not want to give the perception of it not being safe,” she says.
So what action could the city take against the trucks? Commissioner McKnight says she would like to see the city administrator's office look into action they could take. She also says she wants to make sure the trucks have the proper licensure for a business.
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