Milledgeville city leaders address rise in crime

Milledgeville Mayor, Mary Parham-Copelan, says the city is focusing on community policing to build residents' trust with the police department.
City leaders address gun violence

MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— During the last few months, there have been several shootings in Milledgeville, and it has city leaders concerned.

Milledgeville Mayor, Mary Parham-Copelan, says the city is focusing on community policing to build residents’ trust with the department.

“Do we have an issue with people afraid to talk to the police? We do. So what we want to do today is just make them comfortable enough to know they are your best friend. They’re there to protect you, they’re there to help you,” Mayor Copelan said.

Milledgeville Police Chief, Dray Swicord, says it’s sickening to see gun violence negatively affect a community event like the recent shooting at a block party last weekend.

“It has become almost a norm for people to expect this kind of behavior. We certainly don’t know the answer. We just need the community involved with us to try and identify who these people are,” Chief Swicord said.

Milledgeville City Manager, Hank Griffeth, says they’re working with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government to come up with a strategic plan for the community. He believes they will identify a crime initiative in the plan.

“The strategic plan was not done because of the crime piece. It was done because we need a strategic plan for our community,” Griffeth said. “But we anticipate that that strategic plan will include some crime initiative work.”

Mayor Copelan says city and county leaders will do everything possible to make the community safe.

“In the next two to three weeks you’re going to see a lot of resolutions and ordinances brought forth after we all sit down. Because we have to sit down at the table and come to an agreement on what we can do,” said Mayor Copelan.

If you know anything about the recent shootings, call Crimestoppers at 1-877-68-CRIME to leave an anonymous tip.

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