Police chief, sheriff talk recent violent crimes and prevention in Columbus

Police chief, sheriff talk recent violent crimes and prevention in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - With so many shootings and so many deaths over the past few weeks in Columbus, the question remains what can law enforcement do to prevent the violence.

It’s hard for people to put into words how they feel about this recent rash of gun violence and homicides in the community. Local law enforcement said they are doing all they can, evening putting additional cars on the streets.

“We’ve have people in this town to die for some strange reasons," said Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren. “My homicide people, I don’t think they’ve been home in several months.”

Columbus is seeing homicides left and right. Young people all across town are losing their lives to gun violence. Two teens were killed Monday night in South Columbus, a 21-year-old was killed on Macon Road last Monday, and a 45-year-old woman was killed at her North Lumpkin Road apartment.

Several suspects from recent murders now sit in the Muscogee County Jail waiting for their day in court.

“I’ve been around 30 years," said Muscogee County Sheriff Donna Tompkins. "I’ve never heard of 65 to 75 people in jail charged with murder.”

Local law enforcement is doing what they can to ‘serve and protect.’

“And I think we need some parental support out here," Boren said. "The police department is doing all we can do. At this point, we’re going to continue to do all we can do but we need support from our community.”

“One of the things we’ve done recently is assign two of our deputy sheriffs to take 911 calls to assist the Columbus Police Department because there is so much going on in Columbus at the moment,” Tompkins added.

Even with additional units out patrolling the streets, law enforcement leaders said they can’t have a gun and a badge on every corner. It’s just not realistic.

“We’re solving the crimes,” Boren said. "The thing is that people are losing family members and then the ones that are not losing their lives, they end up in prison for the rest of their lives so nobody is a winner in this.”

One issue officials are facing is people not wanting to speak up and share what they’ve seen or heard with police. Leaders said witnesses are essential to making arrests and preventing future crimes.

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