2017-02-15 / Front Page

Huge turnout for BCSO Meet & Greet

By Diana Royal

By the time the night ended, more than 500 citizens showed up to hear what the sheriff had to say and to meet his growing staff.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office Meet & Greet last week was a “huge success” according to Sheriff Alfonzo Williams. “It was a very diverse group, and everyone seemed to enjoy the opportunity to meet and speak with our deputies.”

The primary objective, said Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard, “was to let the citizens know that we are here for them and are here to serve their needs, as well as greatly reduce crime within the entire county.”

In his address, Sheriff Williams told citizens that the BCSO is moving towards many of its goals and objectives, but that the department is still waiting on much needed equipment, still conducting a lot of training and upgrading its systems – all parts of an overall longterm goal.

Blanchard said many citizens voiced concern over specific areas in the county where additional personnel are needed as well as problems with drugs and property crimes within the city and county.

“ Several persons also expressed their gratitude,” Blanchard noted, for recent arrests of burglaries in progress and some check fraud cases. “Some made donations towards the bullet resistant vests we are obtaining for our deputies and wanted to make sure the agency was getting the equipment it needs to get the job done properly.”

Waynesboro resident Marshall Thompson who attended last week’s event said he is excited to see the new admin- -istration taking initiative.

“ The reason why Burke County has thefts and burglaries is no secret – it’s drug problem,” he said. “The issue was never really approached or taken care of in the past. I see my sheriff now, along with some of the best officers, and they have hit the ground running.” Thompson asked, “What sheriff do I know who works Saturday evenings? Sheriff Alfonzo Williams does. I have no doubt our counties issues will be resolved.”

Burke County citizens are already seeing their tax dollars being put to use. The recent training completion of K9s and their handlers is one example. Officers and supervisors are also continuing to train vigorously in various area throughout the department.

“Public Safety and Education are known to be the primary concerns for most people,” Blanchard said. “The Burke County Sheriff’s Office is doing its best to modernize and streamline law enforcement operations by not only using local tax dollars but through partnerships, grants and even donations. The agency has many needs in order for us to become a state-accredited agency, but in the long run, we will have a more efficient and professional agency of which we can all be proud of. The BCSO has always been a great agency, and it is our goal to expand upon that and take us to new levels.”

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