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

Police leave, crime goes up

Sheriff Reggie Rachals Sheriff Reggie Rachals
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.

 

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Aspire focuses on emotional impact left by January storms

    Aspire focuses on emotional impact left by January storms

    Thursday, March 30 2017 6:57 AM EDT2017-03-30 10:57:16 GMT
    Aspire wants South Georgians to know that they are here to offer assistance (Source:WALB)Aspire wants South Georgians to know that they are here to offer assistance (Source:WALB)

    Aspire Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability provided an on-site clinic inside the American Red Cross Shelter located inside the Albany Civic Center to help those experiencing mental health issues. The group wants residents know that they're still available to help those in need.

    More >>

    Aspire Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability provided an on-site clinic inside the American Red Cross Shelter located inside the Albany Civic Center to help those experiencing mental health issues. The group wants residents know that they're still available to help those in need.

    More >>
  • Rainfall Gauge

    Rainfall Gauge

    Today: 0.00'": Monthly Total 1.21"; Normal for the Month 5.22"; Yearly Total 13.03"; -/+ Year to Date -2.52".

    More >>

    Today: 0.00": Monthly Total 1.21"; Normal for the Month 5.22"; Yearly Total 13.03"; -/+ Year to Date -2.52".

    More >>
  • Hodges to run for Court of Appeals

    Hodges to run for Court of Appeals

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 11:46 PM EDT2017-03-30 03:46:33 GMT
    Hodges announced his candidacy (Source:WALB)Hodges announced his candidacy (Source:WALB)

    A former Dougherty County District Attorney is running for an open seat on the Georgia Court of Appeals.

    More >>

    A former Dougherty County District Attorney is running for an open seat on the Georgia Court of Appeals. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly