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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Overall crime in Macon-Bibb was down in 2020 despite a record-breaking year of homicides.
“We had significant decreases in our property crimes, and many of our personal crimes,” Sheriff David Davis said.
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office says it saw a 27% decrease in overall crime from 2019 to 2020.
Davis called 2020 an anomaly year in terms of crime. He says the pandemic could have helped lower some of the crime rates.
“I think COVID may have had an impact from both sides,” he said. “More people stayed at home, so I can see why the property numbers were down so much.”
The crimes that decreased most were commercial robbery, shoplifting, and car break-ins.
The sheriff hopes to continue decreasing the crime rate in 2021. Mayor Lester Miller also hopes to help fight crime with a new mental health initiative.
“The sheriff has said to this community several times that he has the biggest mental health facility in Middle Georgia, and that’s the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center,” Miller said. “That’s not acceptable for Macon-Bibb County, for our community, and it’s something we must do something about.”
Gloria Cissé, a local therapist, has helped with the mayor’s mental health initiative and says she believes greater access to mental health services will help drive the crime rate down.
“Addressing more of the issues that happen in childhood that’s also part of this new Macon Mental Health Matters initiative is to do some prevention work so we can address some of the things that happen on the front end so we don’t end up with more adult criminality.”
The sheriff says he plans to host more community events and a gun buyback later this year.