Fort Benning soldier helping combat local crime

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 11:52 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Summertime usually means an uptick in crime, and people in our area are fighting back. The latest stats from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation indicates violent crime happens around every 20 minutes.

Now, two local organizations have teamed up to arm locals with ways to defend themselves.

Dewayne Webb believes the increase some nonviolent crimes, like thefts, is tied to rising costs of just about everything. As a physical trainer, he’s found a way to use fitness to help combat crime.

Summer means vacation and more time in the sun, which sets around 9 p.m. But, researchers say longer daylight hours also play a huge role into why crime increases this time of year.

“The last couple years last five or six years crime has been to me at the highest you know, and so hopefully, you know, the community can come together so we can end some of the crime,” said Columbus native Priscilla Howard.

Violent crime like homicides may be down 50% in Columbus compared to June of last year, but officials say that’s only part of the story. The latest stats from the GBI reveal that non-violent crime like thefts happen every five minutes and human trafficking crimes happen every day.

“It’s a sad situation because every time you turn on the TV, you always hear about a shooting or something going wrong you know, here in the community,” said Howard.

Army Major Dewayne Webb is the CEO of Lakebottom All About Fitness Bootcamp. He’s also an active duty soldier stationed at Fort Benning, who started helping people in Columbus meet their fitness goals two years ago. With crime on the rise throughout the community, he teamed up with Columbus Self Defense and Fitness and on Monday, they taught participants self defense techniques to help avoid being victims of crime.

“The self defense class and amazing class to take when it comes to hand to hand combat but it’s always good to defend yourself when you’re in a position to have an adult I believe in the second amendment,” said Fort Mitchell resident Joseph Simmons.

While it may not lead to a huge gap in local crime rates, he’s hopeful it will make a difference.

“I’m not tying homelessness to crime but I’m saying some people are simply stealing to eat, to feed their family. Not saying that this right, not saying that that is wrong, but a lot of stuff is increasing because of the hard economic times,” said Webb.

Anyone interested in working out with Dewayne and his free fitness boot camp can go to Lake Bottom Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:15 p.m.

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