Operation 'Take Back' a success - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Operation 'Take Back' a success

CORDELE, GA (WALB) -  Law enforcers hit the streets in Crisp County, hoping to make the community safer and get information in an unsolved murder.

They arrested 10 people in a street sweep operation Wednesday night. Ten agencies worked together, going to government housing areas and crime hot spots throughout the county.

They found people wanted on outstanding warrants and suspects involved in criminal activity such as selling drugs.

Ruthie Schofield has lived in Cordele public housing for more than 50 years. She says times have changed. "We used to sleep at night with our doors open. Down in the bottom of the projects. It was just that peaceful," said Schofield.

Recently, it hasn't been that peaceful. The community has been shaken by three homicides in a month.

"We want to make sure that people in this community know that they can sit on their front porch and they can walk the streets in this community and be safe," said Sheriff Billy Hancock.

Sheriff Billy Hancock came up with an idea called Operation Take Back.

Last night, officers hit the streets and made 10 arrests in less than three hours. It's also a way to try to solve the shooting death of Ashley Garry.

"It was a proactive way to get information about the homicide. It was a proactive way to help the citizens feel safe in their community. It was a proactive way to arrest those who have violated and are violating the law," said Sheriff Hancock.

Law enforcers are also trying to improve their relationships with citizens. "This is a team effort. This isn't law enforcement vs citizen or citizen against law enforcement. This is a community against bad things and we want it to be a community effort," said Sheriff Hancock.

"I'm very pleased with the policemen and things going from house to house. It makes me sleep better at night," said Schofield. It's unknown right now if any of these arrests will lead to anything further in the homicide investigations, but Sheriff Hancock says his investigators will follow up any leads these 10 men can give him.

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