Mayor's New Crime Prevention Commission

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - In a recent report, the FBI found that for the first half of 2008, violent crime in Columbus was down 22 percent. But the same report says murders jumped 60 percent. So what is the local government doing to change that for 2009?

Columbus is doing more for safety than just hiring police officers. Tuesday morning, a commission was created strictly to prevent crime.

Mayor Jim Wetherington announced the chairman and a dozen other members, he hand-picked, to be a part of his Commission on Crime Prevention. This is just one of the many steps he says he is taking to make Columbus a safer place to live.

At Tuesday morning's city council meeting, Mayor Jim Wetherington announced the start of his new Crime Prevention Commission. Mayor Jim Wetherington said, "Obviously there is too much crime in Columbus and I want to see if we can do something about it."

The group will be made up of a dozen community members with various backgrounds. Their professions range from education, the court system and the Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few.

He gave the title of Crime Prevention Commission Chair to Frank Myers. Myers told News Leader Nine, "The people on this commission have different perspectives that will come to the table to tackle issues from different viewpoints. We need that input."

The commission chair shared his three main goals of the group. The first was research, "We will determine which initiatives have been utilized in other cities to try to determine if they would be successful in Columbus."

Myers wants to stress that the commission will listen, "We will depend on the local law enforcement: our police chief, marshal's office, the sheriff's department and other experts."

And finally the commission will make recommendations to the Mayor who will bring those to council. The commission meeting start Friday the 16th and they will all be open to the public.

"The 12 or 13 commission members are not going to have all the answers. Somebody out there will have ideas and we want them to share those with us," added Myers.

The following make up the twelve members of this commission: J. Frank Myers, Reverend Rudy Allen, Sr., Dr. Peggy Connell, Wallace Davis, Mike Gaymon, Betty Jackson, Marjorie Newman, Dr. Kim Peters, Representative Calvin Smyre, Sam Wellborn, Cathy Williams, and Robert Wilson.