Community responds joining proactive approach to stop Burke County crimes


Burke County’s Sheriff is issuing a call to action after a video of a recent fight went viral.

He wants community leaders to help stop crime.

One leader is looking to answer that charge and she told NewsChannel 6 it starts with helping kids in Burke County.

Sheriff Alfonzo Williams feels the same way. 

“It will not happen in Burke County,” he proclaimed while pounding his fist on the desk in sincerity.  That action came after a brutal beat down took place following a fight between two men in Magnolia Acres.

There were also gun shots in the middle of the housing community full of children.  All of it was captured on video. 

“I can assure you we’re going to find ways to put a stop to it,” he told us. 

We sat down with Sheriff Williams this week and he said his office has already started working to proactively rectify community crimes such as a neighborhood fight that left 32-year-old Dedrick Phillips with a Battery Charge and jail time.  

One step is placing school resource officers such as Lt. Randall Norman in schools. 

“Although we are law enforcement officers, we don’t necessarily have to enforce criminal laws all the time,” he explained.  “Sometimes, these kids just really need someone to sit down and talk to and listen to the issues and things like that they may be having at home.”

While deputies in schools can help when school fights arise too, just having a familiar face around when problems come up in the community can help when investigations need to take place. 

“Even on a domestic situation where you have two parents that may not want to speak to the law enforcement officers that are there to advise what’s going on, you have the kids that may be able to pull that deputy aside,” he said.

Chequita Brady Cherry/Community Activist:
“We send our children to school to get an education, for that child not to return, that’s something that’s not on a parent’s mind,” said Community Activist Chequita Brady Cherry. 

Brady Cherry, an educator for 22 years, wants to help the Sheriff’s Office be proactive, accepting the call to action by rallying other leaders and creating crime stopping community forums. 

“I’m worried about the impact of the violence with guns.”

Anyone wanting to participate in the group that will work on those Burke County Community Forums with Cherry should go to the Burke County Library this Thursday, April 11 at 6:00 p.m. 

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins

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