Police leave, crime goes up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Police leave, crime goes up

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Sheriff Reggie Rachals Sheriff Reggie Rachals
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  • Worth Co. hosts open house

    Worth Co. hosts open house

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:24:37 GMT
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
  • Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:20:11 GMT
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
  • Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:12:23 GMT
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>
SMITHVILLE, GA (WALB) -

Is crime increasing in Smithville because the small town no longer has a police department?  

The Sheriff's office now handles patrols in Smithville, and Sheriff Reggie Rachals says he wants to hire more deputies to offer better protection to people throughout Lee County.   Recent burglaries at Smithville Baptist Church and the Pastor's home have some people concerned.

Sheriff Reggie Rachals says his office is investigating, and he asks anyone with information to come forward.   The home was broken into while Pastor Lance Findley was out of town on a mission trip.  

"We are definitely on it and working on it the best we can. Hopefully we will come up with some leads. If anyone knows anything or hears anything definitely give the Sheriff's office a call and ask for the investigations," said Rachals.  

About a year ago, Smithville dissolved its police department to save money.  Rachals says that created more responsibility for his deputies, but they're working hard to cover all areas appropriately.  

Just a few months ago, Lee County officers arrested more than half a dozen drug suspects. The Sheriff says some of them were openly selling drugs in front of stores in Smithville.   He says one thing people can do to protect their homes when away is contact the sheriff's office, and they'll issue a watch card for it.  

"The officers go by there periodically and check the place of business or a house or where ever they're watching during the regular course of their shift."  

In the meantime, Rachals is hoping for a to get approved for a bigger budget to hire more officers.   "If we don't get the help then the officers are going to continue to sacrifice their time working overtime."  

Right now Lee County has 26 officers split between four shifts to cover the more than 362-square-mile county.  The Sheriff also reminds people to lock their homes and cars when away.

 

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