MidTown crime concern sparks debate between mayoral candidates - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

MidTown crime concern sparks debate between mayoral candidates

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If you take a drive through MidTown Columbus, the beautiful scenery makes it easy to see why someone would live there, but some residents are thinking twice after more than two-dozen home break-ins the past 3 months.

“We work hard everyday to acquire the things that we acquire and we have families living in our homes and that is our main concern,” says Meadows Falkenberry, the administrator for the MidTown Columbus Neighborhood Watch page on Facebook.

News 3 brought you a story on Sunday of several midtown residents about the home invasions. Falkenberry says it has generated a lot of attention. He's received numerous emails and Facebook messages about the story. One of them was from the city’s Director of Crime Prevention who said two men had been arrested in connection with MidTown break-ins. In response to the story, mayor Teresa Tomlinson also cited the recent arrests, saying:

“Here is our most recent information from Lt. Steve Cox of the Columbus Police Department: "We have arrested 3 suspects and cleared 5 burglaries in that area to include Habersham drive, Calvin Drive, Hilton Ave". We have posted this information on the MidTown neighborhood Watch FB page and on the larger Neighborhood Watch FB page. Our Crime Prevention Director Seth Brown has also contacted Mr. Flakenberry to assist with the Neighborhood Watch effort.”

The arrests were made on March 17 and police have an arrest warrant out for the 3rd suspect.

Tomlinson's mayoral challenger, Colin Martin, also responded to the story, issuing a news release Monday morning that says Columbus police are spread too thin and called on Tomlinson to focus more on crime.

“I have had many conversations with Columbus Police Officers,” said Martin, “and I consistently hear that the vacancies in the department have stretched officers to the breaking point. We have a strong, professional force and they deserve a mayor who will focus on making their jobs easier, not harder.”

Tomlinson responded by saying that Martin is "ill-informed" after his accusations that she was not doing enough about crime in Columbus.

Falkenberry says he didn't want to start a political debate when he spoke out, he just wanted something done. And for the most part, he's been satisfied with the city's response. He’s already noticed an increased police presence in the neighborhood and has connected with the Seth Brown. He says he just wishes everything wasn't about politics.

“I don’t care who the mayor is – Teresa Tomlinson, Colin Martin, or whoever is running,” says Falkenberry. “As long as their number-one focus is securing the public safety of the citizens of Columbus.”

David Hurst

David Hurst, a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia, focuses on how your tax dollars are being spent.

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