City and county officials announce 2023 goals for Muscogee County

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 5:44 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - As we enter a new year, the city plans on reaching new goals, and at the top of the list is keeping crime low.

“The conversation in 2022 changed from what it was in 2021. They were talking about murders every single day. They even named Columbus ‘Killumbus,’” said Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman,

Countryman says that nickname needs to be a label of the past, as they are looking towards the future.

He says recent numbers dropped based on research within the department and three other factors.

“Drugs, gangs, and them being fugitives,” says Countryman.

He says the department implemented strategies that came with working with other law enforcement agencies across the state to get the job done and wants to continue that method.

“We did it through collaboration, and that’s a smart way of doing business, and we want to build upon that going into 2023,” said Countryman.

Mayor Skip Henderson also says working together is the key to achieving goals for the government.

“Public safety, we are going to continue to push collaboration, of sheriff and police chief work very well together,” said Henderson.

For the mayor, he says there are four main goals he wants to work on for the city and county.

The top three are improving the health and safety of people who live in the area, and job growth, while growing and expanding existing businesses. But he says a big goal this year is something Columbus will continue to work on daily.

“It’s a really big kind of umbrella of a goal, but we want to attack the root causes of poverty. We have a poverty rate that’s way too high,” said Henderson.

The national poverty rate is 12.8 percent. According to the recent census, the poverty rate in Columbus is 19.5%. That number can lead to high crime rates, which is why they both want to reach those goals.

“We are going to be working on talking to the citizens, finding out where they see issues, encouraging them to get involved and fix issues,” said Henderson.

“We look for 2023, to be a very productive year,” said Countryman.

Henderson also wants to encourage people to download the 311 app to their phones, and if you see something, say something.