COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — For the third time this year, the Georgia State Patrol along with Columbus Police have conducted a crime suppression operation in Muscogee County.
Multiple sources tell News 3 that there were some issues over the weekend when the Georgia State Patrol and Columbus Police beefed up patrols. Those issues included delays in booking those who were arrested into the Muscogee County Jail.
Earlier this month, Sheriff Greg Countryman told News 3 he had asked Police Chief Freddie Blackmon and Mayor Skip Henderson to postpone crime suppression details because of jail overcrowding.
The crime suppression detail went on as scheduled and if you were driving around Muscogee County over the weekend you saw the state patrol on the streets.
Countryman was not available for comment today.
Here is what Blackmon had to say about the booking issues and the importance of these joint agency details.
“The officers expressed concerns regarding a delay in the process, but we are looking into it to see exactly what occurred and if there was a problem regarding the process. … I believe these crime suppression details have played a very significant role in our Part I crimes trending down. I know that there are some other factors, but I think this is a very significant factor when we take part in crime suppression details.”
Here’s what Henderson had to say about the situation:
“I don’t know that you would say that I am worried there may be some friction, but I think that still needs to be a focus,” he told News 3. “You got two agencies that have very different roles. I mean the police department is the primary law enforcement organization in the city of Columbus. They still have to arrest violent criminals. And the sheriff has done a good job in trying to fill some gaps where we have had a shortage of manpower. But his primary responsibility is the jail and the courts. So, those two have to be kind of working in tandem to keep things moving smoothly.”
Additional information on the detail
The Police Department and the State Patrol conducted a crime suppression detail from July 15 to July 17, 2022.
16 Columbus Police Officers and 20 Georgia State Troopers patrolled certain locations during this timeframe. Police say that the focus was to “identify and arrest those involved in violating Georgia law, criminal gang activity, illegally possessing firearms, and those with outstanding warrants.”
This resulted in the following:
- 732+ contacts with people
- 45 people taken into custody (19 released with a summons to appear in court)
- 77 criminal charges (21 felonies / 56 misdemeanors)
- 15 criminal arrest warrants served
- 27 contacts with people armed with firearms (1 stolen weapon seized as evidence)
- 474 traffic citations issued
- 741 traffic warnings issued
- 24 DUI arrests
- 30 vehicles impounded (arrests)
- 11 violators fled from Law Enforcement
- 8 validated gang members arrested
- 236.7 grams of illegal drugs seized ($23,670 street sale value)
- 2 pills containing illegal drugs
- 2 stolen vehicles recovered
Anonymous information can be reported by calling (706) 653-3188.