Berrien County Sheriff starts community policing -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Berrien County Sheriff starts community policing

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

BERRIEN COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Berrien County has a new approach to protecting businesses from crime, something Albany's done for years, Community Oriented Policing.

Starting August 1st, deputies will be required to check on businesses while they're patrolling.

Some deputies we talked to Monday are already meeting with business owners and employees.

Sgt. Doug Rutland hits the streets in his patrol car. He stops at a barber shop but not to get a hair cut or investigate a crime. He's meeting with the business owner to see if he's seen anything out of the ordinary.

"It makes the business owners feel better too just knowing they're around the chances of crime actually goes down I believe," said Travis Brown, the owner of Travis's Barber Shop.

You may be seeing more these patrol cars at businesses throughout Berrien County. The deputies are meeting with business owners in an effort to deter crime.

"The cities that border us are having a lot of thefts and they're having a lot of strong armed robberies," said Heath.

The sheriff says he wants to keep people safe as possible.

He hopes if businesses see anything out of sorts, they'll call and if criminals see patrols out at businesses heath says they may think twice about robbing them.

Steve Dixon agrees.

"It will help very much just, being seen and all, helps a lot," said Steve Dixon of Dixon Farm Supply.

"During the day, businesses turn over a lot of money and whether it be a banker, fast food, or just a miscellaneous item shop, there's a lot of money that goes through there," said Heath. "Thieves target businesses like that that's quick cash."

He hopes this effort will lessen crime and encourage people to call if something's not right.

If you'd like to talk to Berrien County deputies about crime in the county, they want to hear from you. Call the office 686-7071.

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