Clergy and law enforcement work to reduce violent crime -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Clergy and law enforcement work to reduce violent crime

Rev. Battle Rev. Battle
Sheriff Smith Sheriff Smith
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - Clergy in Sumter County are teaming up with men and women behind the badge to improve their community.

Crimes scenes have become common in Americus. "That's something to really alarm the whole community," said Rev. Jacob Battle.

Nine homicides since November. "It's just more crime than we can keep up with," said Sheriff Pete Smith.

Two killed on price street, two in a robbery in the county, three more near Jackson street last month, a stabbing in the city. The only one still unsolved is a little girl on Georgia Avenue.

Tuesday, community leaders and local ministers took steps towards fixing this issue, meeting with law enforcement to combat problems drugs and crimes produce in the area.

"What I would like to do is get the sheriff department, the police department, the churches, all working together to work on this major problem we have in our community," said Battle.

Sheriff Pete Smith and Police Chief Brian Carney addressed the group, encouraging people to reach out to the rough parts of Americus.

"Our little children are incarcerated within these walls of poverty and ignorance and drugs and rap music. They don't know which way to go," said Battle.

Sheriff Smith and Chief Carney stress their need for a drug squad, and praise this first step taken by local pastors.

"I was inspired by some of them and what they had to say, and these have been my concerns all along," said Sheriff Pete Smith. "I think change will eventually come."

Leaders hope these meetings will continue in the future. Change that many would be glad to see.

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