Thomasville police want a new device to fight crime

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THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) – The City of Thomasville is moving forward with its plans to make the city safer.

On Monday, city council members voted to send in an application for a $130,000 grant from the Community Oriented Policing microprogram, also known as COP. The grant would go towards a new security system which they believe will reduce crime.

“We saw this as valuable technology that could help us not only reduce crime, but also gather all the evidence by video, detect the shots and use them, and we build the case against the suspect,” said said Maj. Shane Harris, operations major with the Thomasville Police Department.

Harris said the security system has been shown to reduce crime by 70% in metropolitan areas like Atlanta.

In recent years, calls for gun crimes have increased, according to Harris. Just last weekend, Harris said there had been reports of shots being fired at a housing area – which he said could be avoided with the new system.

Gun violence continues to be a problem in Thomasville(WALB)

“These cameras will be placed in high crime areas. Where we have also seen an increase in crime, to help reduce crime and help citizens feel safer, with as little fear as possible,” Harris said.

Harris said the security system will be the first of its kind in South Georgia and will significantly reduce gun-related calls.

Harris hopes the community will soon be safer.
Harris hopes the community will soon be safer.(WALB)

“The best part of this is that the system will capture everything that happens through CCTV of the activity taking place in the area where the gunshot was detected. So it’s that evidence that the police have before even to arrive at the scene,” he said.

The cameras would be specifically placed in the entrance of two apartment buildings – Villa North and Wood Valley Apartments. Harris said these two areas have the most crime.

“People come out and start shooting and you have kids staying here. Bullets have no name. I was shot in mine,” Wood Valley Apartment resident Martha Coes said.

Coes lived in the apartment complex for most of his life and said shootings were bad in the area. Years ago, she suffered a life-threatening experience when a bullet ripped through her apartment and nearly hit her.

“We shouldn’t be afraid to live at home. We shouldn’t be afraid to go out. I don’t want to see anyone’s child shot by any bullet. It would be too late to say I’m sorry,” she said.

Coes has seen the rise of gun violence in his own neighborhood over the years.
Coes has seen the rise of gun violence in his own neighborhood over the years.(WALB)

Coes added that the security system will eliminate residents’ fear of calling the police when an incident occurs.

“Because people want to say it, but they’re afraid of being harassed by someone,” she said.

City leaders are waiting to see if they’ve been approved for the COP grant, then the next step is to place them throughout the community to see if they make a huge difference.

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