Sheriff’s office makes gains against crime

“I think it is a safe county, safer than a lot around us and in other states — but there is crime in Fayette County,” said Fayette County Sheriff Wayne Hannah. “Here are the types of crimes we’re facing: burglaries, thefts and of course identity fraud.”

Hannah, sheriff since 2009, sent a letter to the public a few weeks ago detailing the efforts his office has been and still are taking in making sure citizens stay safe and are aware of what is happening within the county as it relates to crime.

According to data from the sheriff’s office website, the total amount of crimes in 2011 were 847, compared to 769 in 2010. However, Hannah added the 2011 numbers are the same as 2006.

“So we’re pretty straight line almost,” he said. “We’ll go down a couple of percentages and we may go up a couple of percentages.”

In taking efforts to keep crime at bay, Hannah said there are marked cars out in the community to have more of a presence and to increase visibility, efforts to make sure all shifts have enough people on them, as well as visits with homeowners associations and senior citizens about crime prevention.

On the technological side, the sheriff’s office has spent more than $1.2 million in equitable sharing funds (money seized from participation in drug raids) on a new software system, which includes a jail management system, records management system and a mobile data project that provides computers in deputy vehicles.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office has a $2 million-a-year budget and money from the equitable sharing fund goes to supplement for items needed, said Hannah. The office has a few deputies assigned to various task forces in metro Atlanta, the main one being the Drug Enforcement Administration, who participate in raids. When they seize funds, the sheriff’s office gets a portion of those funds which helps fund SWAT, K-9, aviation and tactical narcotics.

The new management system, by vendor Spillman Technologies lets the office link information together with the jail and courts.

“That system is just awesome, we never had anything like it before,” said Hannah. “In the next phase we’ll be able to tie this information into our cars.”

The office will also add pin mapping, where deputies can map crimes, view where they are happening and also see hotspots and areas that could use increased patrol to prevent crimes. Hannah said the Fayetteville Police Department is coming on board and the Peachtree City Police Department is not far behind.