South Georgia Law Enforcement Sets Goals for 2004

South Georgia officials met Monday to plan methods of ways to improve their effectiveness in crime prevention. Law enforcement agencies want to step up their crime tactics in Thomas County to be able to handle serious crimes effectively. Officials say in order to do this they have to utilize all its manpower as one unit.

Thomas County sheriff Carlton Powell says he'd like to see a new direction taken in the county. Crime rates were down in the county this year, but Powell wants to prepare for the years ahead.

"Crime is changing, tactics are changing, the old days of the way we did it changed, so consequently we're looking at some areas where we can improve our abilities," says Powell.

Powell says communication is the key to both solving crimes and crime prevention.

"Officials say among the crimes that have become prevalent nationwide is identity theft, and Law enforcement agencies are working together to develop expertise on the issue to pass along to the public.”

Public awareness programs are also part of the plan, and that's welcome news for local residents.

"I think the more we can be aware of problems that might be is good, especially for older people. I think it would be a good idea I would be interested," says June Ledford, a resident.

Powell says it makes more sense for officials to work together, because the public is not interested in who gets credit for solving the crime, as long as it's solved.

"This behooves all of us in Law Enforcement to see if we can work together to have bottom line a good year and good working relationship," says Powell.

Sheriff Powell says the major law enforcement agencies will meet on a regular basis in an effort to make these goals a reality. No dates have been set yet for when these public awareness programs might get off the ground, but it will involve law enforcement agencies teaming up with local storeowners and the Chamber of Commerce to put out information to the public about preventing identity theft and credit card fraud.