Burke County, Ga (WJBF)- The Burke County Sheriff’s Office has received a $100,000 grant. The money will allow them to create a new position to fight violent crime. Violent crime is on the rise, and rural counties like Burke County are not immune.

This grant is funded by the US Department of Justice and provides not only funds, but training and technical assistance to rural law enforcement agencies.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office plans to use the grant to create a crime analyst position, as well as get the resources that person will need. They believe the grant will be enough to pay all of this.

Sheriff Alfonzo Williams explained that having a crime analyst in a rural law enforcement agency is rare and will be a game changer.

“This means investigators will be able to spend more time in the field, where the rubber meets the road, interviewing witnesses and chasing down suspects, following up on cases. They’re not stuck behind a desk trying to understand data.”

A crime analyst will gather data that will help to solve cases and prevent violent crime from happening. Officers will not only be better able to understand where violent crime is happening most often, but the analyst will help them connect the dots in cases they are investigating.

Sheriff Williams said that while gang violence is down in Burke County, other types of violent crime are up, and a crime analyst will help get that under control.

“Whether that be domestic abuse– and our community has seen some very horrific situations involving that over the last couple of weeks. It’s just been heartbreaking,” said Williams. “But we’re going to be able to drill down into those numbers. We know that domestic violence increased during COVID. We saw it increase in Burke County. And that’s alarming to us.”

The sheriff’s office is hoping to hire someone in the next few weeks and they already have several applicants.