2017-10-11 / Front Page

City crime rates continue to fall

By Diana Royal

The City of Waynesboro has seen a significant drop in its crime rate according to figures released during the city council's public safety committee meeting Monday night.

Waynesboro Police Chief Augustus Palmer reported that Part 1 crimes are down 51.10 percent since this time last year. "Our recent efforts are going well," he said. "We are getting the job done."

Palmer explained that Part 1 crimes are those reported to the FBI and include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, vehicle theft and arson. As of Sept. 30, 2017, there have been 200 such crimes committed within the city limits. By Sept. 30, 2016, that number was 409.

The report also showed that the WPD has issued 959 traffic citations and 181 warnings since the first of the year through September. Palmer said Tuesday that he wanted the public to know that his department does not issue citations to raise money, but to protect lives and property.

Aside from some restructuring within the department, Chief Palmer also said he is working on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between his department and the Burke County Sheriff's Office in light of the recent proposal to contract city police duties to the county.

"I am researching different ones used across the state," he said, explaining that the MOU would lay out for everyone what the proposed contract would do. "We'd help the county, too. If they will deputize the department. I'm going to sit down with the sheriff to hammer out the details, and we will craft a good agreement between our agencies."

Former councilman Herman Brown asked for clarification concerning the law enforcement services contract, stating that he read in The True Citizen that Waynesboro Mayor Greg Carswell said the issue was dead and wouldn't be brought up again following last Monday's 4-2 vote against it. "But then he was on television saying it could come up again," he said. "I just want to know which is it? Can it be brought back up?"

Vice Mayor Brenda Lewis, who serves as the committee chair, said she could not speak on behalf of the mayor but sought the advice of city manager Jerry Coalson who said if it did reemerge it would have to undergo significant changes before being brought back before them.

Return to top