Harrisburg Community: This is a safe place

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The people who live and work in the Harrisburg neighborhood told NewsChannel 6 it is safe, for the most part, despite this recent double homicide.

“I’ve never been to that barber, but I heard good things about him being real nice to people,” Pamela Curaton told us while pushing her granddaughter in a stroller in the neighborhood.

She joins people in the community who have one question after Monday’s double homicide at Johnson’s Beauty and Barber Salon in broad daylight. Why? But it’s not going to change their minds. People said it’s still a safe place to live.

Curaton said, “The first thang (person) who wakes me up in the morning is God.”

Faith is what the senior pastor of Bible Deliverance Temple explained keeps him going in a neighborhood that he not only preaches in, but lived in for 60 years.

Pastor Jimmy Murray said, “We are very strong into the food and clothes ministry. We’re a very poor church in a poor neighborhood, so we don’t have money to give, but we do have clothes and food and a lot of love and friendship to give away.”

And added to that faith is a measure of proactive policing. Harrisburg sits in the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office’s Zone 2. Lt. William Adams said violent crimes have actually decreased by 32 percent in the past few years.

“This year I really think COVID has had a lot to do with the lowering of crime. I think it’s keeping a lot of people home that would normally be at work. They don’t have the easy targets and breaking into the houses,” he explained to us.

Lt. Williams also said the Crime Suppression Unit works to keep guns off the streets. And he overall considers Harrisburg to be safe.

That’s the sentiment from the neighborhood association president too.

“The area on Walton Way between the Medical College and Augusta University is being invested in, it’s like the new Washington Road over there with all the new investment. All of that puts very positive pressure on the neighborhood,” said Phillip Williams, President of the Harrisburg -West End Neighborhood Association.

Photojournalist: Gary Hipps


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