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Law enforcement stepping up to challenge

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

It seems that every day lately people are asking me about the rash of burglaries and thefts that we are experiencing in Dougherty County. Most individuals want to know what law enforcement personnel are doing to address this increase in property crime. As your sheriff, I want you to know that this situation is of great concern, so I want to share the steps my office takes to detect and prevent burglary and thefts.

First and foremost, we support the local police departments. Both the Albany Police Department and the Dougherty County Police Department work diligently to patrol neighborhoods and business districts in an effort to detect crime and prevent crimes against both persons and property. While my deputies are on the road serving warrants or civil papers, we monitor the radio traffic from those agencies; just in case a situation arises in which we can offer assistance. Because of this, there have been numerous times that a deputy has been at the right place at just the right time to catch and arrest a perpetrator who was fleeing from a police officer.

Often when a police officer is dispatched to a burglary or other call and there is no immediate back-up for that officer, one of my deputies will break away from his/her normal duties and back up the police officer. We are all on the same team. I feel that we owe it to each other and to the citizens of Dougherty County to work together to ensure the safety and security of living or working in, or travelling through, Dougherty County.

In addition to this, I have deputies specifically assigned to a "night patrol." The mission of this special patrol is to conduct security checks on homes, churches and businesses throughout the county to detect vandalism or burglary. The narrow focus of this patrol function creates an excellent deterrent and provides the best opportunity for early detection of such crimes, which may lead to more arrests.

When burglaries are detected or reported, my investigators diligently work cases to their conclusion. We also assist the Albany and Dougherty County police departments with their investigations, especially in the area of fingerprint identification through our Automated Fingerprint Identification System.

In tough economic times property crimes increase. I want everyone to know that my office recognizes this and we have stepped-up our game to meet the challenge. I am continually humbled by the support I receive from the community, and I am committed to returning that support by providing the highest level of protection and service possible. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this topic, or if the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office can be of any assistance, please call me at (229) 430-6508.

Sheriff Kevin Sproul is a longtime resident of Dougherty County. He is a graduate of Albany High School, Darton College and LaGrange College of Albany. Sheriff Sproul has been employed with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office for 27 years and can be reached at (229) 430-6508.