Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office making big strides in 2022

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Despite being down dozens of deputies, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office has been putting feet on the ground this year, leading to nearly 300 felony arrests since January. You may remember Sheriff Greg Countryman telling News Leader 9 back in January that this will be the year law enforcement takes back Muscogee County.

Thirty-three weapons have been seized out of criminals’ hands so far since January. A number Sheriff Countryman said may not sound like a lot, but he said that is 33 interruptions of potential gun violence.

Countryman said his office is down roughly 55 officers, but this has not interfered with his plan to take back Muscogee County in 2022.

“Once you take a life, there are other lives that are taken,” he said. “People are mourning. Once you get in the jail system, that’s just the start of it.”

Since January of this year, the sheriff’s office has seized nearly $360,000 worth of drugs, made 270 felony arrests, closing 42 cases and are now actively working 76 cases.

“Probably later on this week, if things work out, there is another person we’re looking at and trying to locate that has caused this community a lot of pain,” Countryman said. “We are trying our dead-level best to track down this individual.”

He said these arrests and guns/drugs seized are to be commended. But he explained all of this happened in the cold months, but summer is coming. It’s statistically proven that crime ramps up in the warm weather. Countryman said as will his number of deputies in the streets.

“We are going to collaborate, so you may see more sheriffs out answering calls and in neighborhoods,” he told News Leader 9′s Ashlee Williams. “Just understand we’re in neighborhoods, and you won’t even know who we are.”

Sheriff Countryman has a message to these criminals who are carrying around illegal weapons or participating in gang activity:

“Think before you pull that trigger. Think before you even pick up a gun. Think how your life is going to be behind bars, and it’s nothing but noise. You hear screaming and hollers at night time because you know what’s happening in these prisons. This is the time, if you’re free, enjoy your freedom, but change your life. Change the course of what you’re doing. You don’t have to do this.”

These arrests and drug seizures are all on top of the mandated duties of the sheriff’s office. They are going above and beyond to protect Muscogee County citizens, despite the lack of manpower.

Sheriff Countryman said this month, at least 15 deputies are being hired, and he expects the 55 officer shortage to be cut in half by August.

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