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Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office ride-along

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 10:26 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - For today’s ride-along, we traveled to an area the Sheriff’s Department says is heavy with violent crime.

I watched SGT Clinton Powell interact with the residents in Columbus’ South side. By just being there and hearing the resident’s concerns, it’s clear they are aware of the sheriff’s effort to improve community relations.

It just takes one traffic stop for things to go south because a day in the life of a law enforcement officer, you have to be prepared for anything.

“It can escalate in a matter of seconds…,” said MCSO Deputy, SGT Clinton Powell.

And in Columbus, where law enforcement is working to fight a war on drugs and gang violence, Major Steve Sikes over the Investigations Bureau says their focus is on taking down the big guys.

“We are targeting people with outstanding high risk felony warrants that are violent and possibly murderers as well as gang members,” explained Major Sikes.

How do they achieve this? Well it starts with Deputies like SGT. Clinton Powell, patrolling the streets. To understand and protect the community, law enforcement must first gain their respect in today’s modern world of policing.

“Just to see an officer and he ain’t coming here to serve a warrant, he is just concerned and walks up and asks a senior can he help him, that tell me a lot,”said Benning Hills resident, Carlton Brantley.

By gaining trust, they gain something else - information in these crime “hot spots”. That most recently resulted in the seizure of more than $530,000 in illegal narcotics last week.

“Even when we are finding drugs we are also finding weapons… Anytime that we can keep weapons off of the streets and out of the hands that don’t need them, it means we are making a safer community on our end,” said Sheriff Greg Countryman.

Sheriff Greg Countryman says by seizing that large sum of drugs from Muscogee County, it should interrupt a lot of the gang violence in the city. He also says that for deputies like SGT Powell, it’s a requirement that they stop and talk to at least 5 residents in different areas of the community.

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