MACON, Ga. — The Bibb County Sheriff's Office says it takes a village to keep neighborhoods and people safe from crime, and that includes our businesses.
The Sheriff’s Office holds meetings every few weeks that gather business owners in the area to discuss concerns and swap information with each other.
Bibb County Sheriff's Office, Captain George Meadows says these meetings keep businesses informed but also help to solve crimes.
"Over the years, counterfeit bills being passed, serial shoplifters. Most recently, we’ve been having ‘entering autos’-- you can call it a vehicle burglary,” Meadows said.
That's just some of the criminal activity, he says the Bibb County Sheriff's Office has seen affect businesses around town. He says that's why the business watch meetings were created.
“This is where they get together and meet each other and make connections.”.
Meadows explains that these meetings teach businesses about issues in the community and how to recognize criminal activity. He says it creates a crime-fighting team.
"When we put out these different BOLO-- which is Be On the Look Out-- with images of wanted people, there have been multiple times where business owners have said, 'Yeah, he's been here.'. Before you know it, we have some people off the street and in jail where they need to be,” Meadows said.
Pat Chastain is CEO of Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia, a life recovery organization. He says they've worked with the Sheriff's Office when their clothes and item donation bins around town were robbed.
“We just starting noticing that there was less there than usual. Then locks were being broken, doors were being kicked in. The Sheriff's Office were so good at what they were doing, it ended up that we found these people and they took care of 'em,” Chastain said.
He says they're fortunate to have a place for businesses to go.
“It gives you a place to meet those officials and officers that are gonna be on your side. It's also a place that you have a voice. Everybody is just trying to do the right thing. If you start partnering up with the right people at the Bibb County Sheriff's Office, you can see some really good results."
Captain Meadows says that 40 businesses all around Macon currently come to meetings. The latest business watch meeting will be on Tuesday, September 13 from 10-11am.
It's at the Bibb County Sheriff's Office south substation at 5797 Houston Rd. They'll be speaking about new businesses coming to town and how to keep everyone safe.