'Operation Apprehension' catches 21 in pre-dawn sweep - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

'Operation Apprehension' catches 21 in pre-dawn sweep

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  170 Dougherty County homes were raided this morning in search of probation violators. 21 people were arrested in the pre-dawn sweep that stretched into mid-morning.  

Law officers were looking for a variety of criminals who aren't following the terms of their probation.

It was called Operation Apprehension.  Dougherty County Probation led the effort that started early this morning before dawn, knocking on doors where probation violators are supposed to be.  

Officers knock on the front door of a home in the 500 block of South Jefferson. Other officers have already surrounded the house, watching the back door and windows. 

"About 5:30 this morning we started this operation with a briefing.  We have six teams roaming throughout the city and the county, going to these various addresses to find some of these people," said A.D.D.U. Commander Bill Berry.

Drug agents, gang unit members, Sheriff's Office deputies, U.S. Marshals, and A.T.F.agents all back up probation officers in the operation.

"At the height of it, we were locking up about one every ten or 15 minutes.  So it went real fast,"  Berry said.

The targets, Probation violators, people who had failed to report to their supervisors, or moved from the address they reported without permission, or failed to pay fines.  They found one hiding in an air conditioner duct, a couple of more hid in closets, but there were no violent problems as 21 people were arrested.

"It sends a message out.  If you don't report in, if you don't keep in touch.  We will get together and we will come looking for you," Berry said.

Berry said law enforcement officers understand that locking up crooks in jail once often does not stop them.  Sometimes they have to go out searching for them again.

The Dougherty County Probation Office said their officers will be back out on more operations soon, looking for violators.  They say the message is clear, if you are on probation, you had better make sure you are following their rules or you could hear a banging on your door.

Dougherty County has about 5,000 people on probation now, and about 2,000 active warrants for violations.

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