AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- More than $1 million in grant money is going to fight gang activity in Georgia. The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency will disperse $1.25 million to law enforcement agencies, prosecuting attorneys, and nonprofits who focus on gang prosecutions in the state.
46 agencies applied for the Gang Activity Prosecution Grant, but only 34 were selected.
Two local law enforcement agencies will benefit from the GAPG.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is one of those two agencies receiving some money and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office is the other.
Richmond County will receive $40,000. It’ll go towards special software that will allow the Sheriff’s Office to track gang activity.
Sheriff Richard Roundtree explained to NewsChannel 6 how that could help them with crimes that reach beyond Augusta.
“It’s analytical software that does, not only identify certain gangs and characteristics that you see with a search, but multiple databases that show trends or patterns or similarities in something that may be happening, not just across Augusta, but across the area…across the state,” he said.
Burke County got nearly $20,000 to put towards surveillance equipment like cameras and other recording devices.
Sheriff Alfonzo Williams said gang activity is a very real problem and this grant will help him take further steps to reduce it.
“So often we hear people in the South say things like ‘Well, they’re just a bunch of wanna be’s.’ And I think those are very dangerous words, because when we have violent crime associated with gang activity, when people are being hurt and killed…when people are dying, they’re not wanna be’s,” he explained.
Both sheriffs say they have taken a hard stand on gang activity since they have been in office and that they will continue to do so.