Columbus’ new police chief shares plan to fight crime in the city

Published: Oct. 11, 2023 at 11:49 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2023 at 8:55 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - On his first day as Columbus’ new police chief, Stoney Mathis says his attention is on fighting crime in the city.

Mathis says he wants citizens to know he’s working hard to identify and address crime in the city.

“The first thing you have to do when you have a crime or a gang problem is you have to identify them, and you have to be transparent to the citizens because the citizens know if you got a crime problem and or a gang problem and denying it doesn’t help anybody.”

Mathis says the department is moving into a crime-fighting period, bringing a combination of tactics, including a special team of investigators consisting of both an attack and gang unit.

“I get phone calls from neighbors all day long. They said they’re tired of being a prisoner in their own home. We’ve got a $1.6 million grant to put cameras throughout the city. We’re going to put flok cameras throughout the city. We got a thing called Fucious that’s going to integrate all the cameras in the city.”

Mathis says the cameras will be monitored 24/7, combined with police officers now going to 12-hour shifts. He says what he brings to the table is high energy and years of experience.

“Unfortunately, Chief Blackmon didn’t have that luxury of learning. And you know him coming from being just like a division commander to the police chief. That was that was a lot. That’s a lot to handle.”

Mathis also says he plans to mentor commanders who work under him so when he leaves, they’ll be ready to step up to the plate.