Aggravated assaults on the rise in Chatham County, according to police chief

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 5:02 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Violent crimes are up in areas across unincorporated Chatham County.

Chatham County Commissioners got an update Friday on what those numbers look like.

Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley told county commissioners that aggravated assaults, especially with guns are the bulk of those violent crimes on the rise.

According to Hadley’s report, there have been 45 aggravated assaults so far this year and 37 this time last year in unincorporated Chatham County. There’s been more than double the amount of gun related crimes this year than last year with 22 assaults involving a gun.

He says aggravated assaults with guns can be anything from someone pointing their gun at someone to actually pulling the trigger.

“That kind of popped out to me and I asked our crime analyst, ‘is there any pattern to that? Is there any connectivity issues between the incident?’ And there doesn’t seem to be. It just seems that people are utilizing weapons, more brandishing them, pointing them at someone as a way to try to resolve conflict or show force and something of that nature. We’ll continue to monitor it. We’re only three months into the year. It could smooth out,” said Chief Hadley.

He says gun thefts from unlocked cars are also on track to be higher than recent years.

“Very few firearms are stolen from vehicles that are broken into by smashing the window or anything like that. If I could just encourage people, if you have a firearm in your vehicle, please lock your vehicle.”

While gun violence is on the rise, county police have been cracking down on more burglaries thanks to an increase in Flock cameras located around the county. Every police department in the county can access these cameras that track license plates, helping them locate suspects quicker like the ones you see here in his presentation.

“We can share information and obviously criminals don’t always have boundaries, so it’s been an invaluable resource for us and our detectives.”

One of the many steps they’re taking to make these crime numbers go down.