CRISP CO., GA (WALB) - Concentrated law enforcement officers are working to prevent a growing number of armed robberies, and they are doing it with a project called Operation Take Back.
So far, the operation has netted nine arrests by the Crisp County Sheriff's Office. They have also seized 100 grams of spice and 10 pieces of crack cocaine.
Investigators say troublemakers often congregate in a parking lot at Joe's Meat Market.
Recent photos of the lot empty on Friday night, are evidence that Operation Takeback was a success, they said.
Agents arrested two drug suspects there.
"With the help of the community and the help from everybody around.. this has been a very successful operation," said Sgt. Ben Bray with the Crisp County Sheriff's Office.
But some men who were questioned that night, and were not breaking the law, said officers focus too much on their side of town.
"We ain't did nothing wrong, we just hang out," said resident Javoskie Walker. "I know it's a bad area and a lot of dope gets sold over here."
"Just do something. They ain't doing nothing but taking us away," remarked resident Black Savage. "Help us."
Authorities said the point of Operation Takeback is to focus on "high crime" areas in an effort to cut it down.
Convenience stores and areas around major roads that go through the city are considered "high crime."
Deputies also arrested six wanted suspects and made other arrests over the weekend.
Walker said some people in his neighborhood are trying to make the community better.
"We help the community, you know. We clean up on the weekend. We do stuff for the kids- cookouts, all type of stuff," he said.
While some residents are concerned by the increased police presence, officers say there are plenty of citizens who want law enforcement in their neighborhoods.
"By these concerned citizens calling in [and] letting us know where these problem areas are, then we know where to concentrate," said Sgt. Bray. "We know where to start looking, and in the end, make arrests."
The Crisp County Sheriff's Office is encouraging citizens to call in their concerns for their next Operation Take Back.