MACON, Ga. — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation wants to expand its gang task force to Macon.
The agency hopes to open a new collaborative office downtown. Mayor Lester Miller says it's more than a year in the making, and another step in his violence prevention program.
The new office, at 773 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., used to be a Georgia Department of Transportation office monitoring traffic on I-16 and I-75. Now, Sheriff David Davis says it will monitor a different kind of traffic: gang and drug activity in Macon.
It's a partnership some leaders like Davis hope drastically reduces the amount of gang activity in Macon.
"Now, the criminals will know that we are united here with the GBI and all the other agencies," Davis said.
"I think it's going to really decrease the amount of violence we have, but it's also going to work a lot with getting guns off the street," Mayor Miller said.
The office would serve as the GBI's permanent home in Central Georgia, serving the whole region.
"We moved into the Middle Georgia area around 2020, but we never really had a firm home to operate from until today," said GBI Director Michael Register.
Sheriff Davis says gang activity leads to many of Macon's violent crimes. He says working with other agencies in the new office will allow law enforcement to band together.
"We will be able to create a united front with state agencies, local agencies, other surrounding agencies," Davis said.
It's a bond they hope will deter crime, and make Central Georgia safer.
"This has been in the process for a while. It doesn't happen overnight. I believe with this group working together, we're going to see some tremendous changes pretty soon," Miller said.
He says he wants to work quickly to open the office. He expects it to open within 60 days of the commission's final approval. They're expected to vote on the funding at their first May meeting.