The Marshal’s Office responds to 16 evictions a day and with a small staff, they have to answer to those eveictions alone but this is something Marshal Ramone Lamkin says he wants to change.
“Out of 22 years of being in law enforcement, I never cleared a house by myself and I’m asking my guys to do it everyday, 16 times a day. It’s dangerous, it’s not of question of if something happens, it’s when it’s going to happen.”
The Richmond County Marshal’s Office is seeking to increase eviction fees. The current fee to evict a non-paying tenant is $72. The Marshal is proposing a $35 increase, making the total cost $107. The Marshal’s Office only receives $25 from the original fee. The rest goes to the court system and the city’s general fund. Under the new fee, the Marshal’s office would collect $60 per eviction..
“With the man power increase, we will go by the next day and see if the area has been cleaned up because we have a lot of complaints when we do evictions.”
Marshal Lamkin says the fee increase would allow his office to add additional deputies, which would cut down on the chances something bad happens at an eviction. This video is from february — when an eviction ended in a standoff and the arrest of a tenant.
“You catching someone at the worse time of their lives. They are getting evicted from their home and you don’t know what they are going through, it’s a very bad time so you don’t know what may happen.”
The fee increase would allow the marshal’s deputies to use body cameras. Currently, the fees to store footage collected by those cameras is too high, so the cameras are not being used.
“The grant doesn’t cover the storage so we gave the commission a multi year plan, the first year will be to cover the cars and the uniform. We would have have all those cost the second year so the other cost will go to fund the storage for the body cameras.”
The marshall tells me there will be a public hearing about the increase of the fees. We will update you when we have the time and date of that public hearing.