Local business owners discuss safety in downtown Augusta

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AUGUTSTA, GA ( WJBF) — In August 2019 after two fatal shootings and a violent attack the Richmond County Sheriff’s office sent a letter to 30 businesses in the downtown area asking them to have a security plan in place to deal with safety issues.

Since then some local business owners said they haven’t had safety issues and the number of Richmond County Sheriff’s Office patrols has helped with security concerns.

” The local authorities take care of downtown very well. They have a big presence on the street in their cars and we’ve never had to do anything above and beyond running a tight business,” StillWater Taproom co-owner Barry Blackston said.

Mike Baideme has worked at 440 Instruments downtown for five years . He said the police presence makes him feel safer in the area.

” They’re constantly zipping around whether its on foot or in their golf carts or bikes so the presence is there and I feel totally comfortable,” Baideme said.

In addition to the police presence downtown, Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree said they’ve seen an overall drop in crime in Augusta.

” I think we’re doing a very good job at continually putting in steps to reduce crime, so we’re very pleased at our crime rate overall.”

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