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Posted: 4:51 p.m. Thursday, July 19, 2012
By Kerry Kavanaugh
Six Gwinnett County cities are teaming up with the sheriff's department to crack down on the sale of illegal drugs. For many of the smaller municipalities, this was a necessary move -- more fallout from the dispute over which services the counties would provide cities and how much that would cost. As a result, the county police are no longer handling drug investigations in city limits, so the cities are pooling their resources. "We're going to target the street-level quality of life issues and we feel as a group we can do that more efficiently," Lawrenceville Police Chief Randy Johnson said. The group is the Gwinnett Metro Drug Task Force. It will target the sale of illegal drugs plaguing neighborhoods across Gwinnett County. "When you have the person on the corner that's selling drugs hand to hand, and we probably get more calls about that than anything," Johnson told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh. The task force will include officers from Lawrenceville, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn and Suwanee. They will also cover Loganville and get help from Gwinnett Sheriff's deputies. The task force will pool resources and specific officers will respond to crime scenes as a unit.
Lawrenceville resident Victor Summerhour said it will be a welcome site in his neighborhood. He said drug dealers have called Carver's Circle home for years. He said police come in and clear it out, but within weeks, it's back to more of the same. "When you hit this block, either you live here or you come to get drugs here, and everybody knows that," Summerhour said. Summerhour said he worries the children who live in the area don't see other ways of life. He started a ministry, Come and See, to provide a safe haven from the streets. "It's a lot of kids here they go until about the seventh or eighth grade, ninth at most, and they're out of school," Summerhour said. Summerhour hopes a renewed effort to combat drugs will bring hope to Carver's Circle and other areas like it. Johnson said the drug money and property seized will initially be used to buy equipment and other resources then divided among the municipalities.
He said the task force will begin training as a group next week and hopes to hit the streets in August.
A Channel 2 Action News investigation finds thousands of local votes in the last presidential election didn’t count, though many should have.
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