Augusta Commission to consider probation again for two stores over crime concerns

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta leaders have been talking about taking action against Smart Grocery on Wrightsboro Road, and the Shopper Stop on Olive Road for weeks, and now the discussion is back.

“We’re back because there weren’t all the colleagues at the table, I think there will probably be six votes to put them on probation,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

Two weeks ago, there were not enough votes to take action against the stores, Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle saying the stores are already responding to commission concerns about crime without the need to put them on probation.

“We already put them on notice when we had them come before the commission a couple times and they actually moved forward by hiring a security guard, changing their hours and working with the citizens around the area,” said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.

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“When locations have 2,000 calls, there is obviously something going on. Both of them had deaths, we have a responsibility as commission. We’re not closing them down, we’re not taking their license away, we’re just putting them on probation,” said Frantom.

But the 2,000 calls from the Smart Grocery area were over a four-year-period, and the owner of the shopping center says most of the calls came from the businesses themselves.

“When a business calls for the Sheriff’s support because they know it’s potential danger and harm to their customers,” said Guilfoyle.

Commissioners are also scheduled to debate rescinding the six-month probation of Club Rain they approve two weeks ago after a fatal shooting outside the club in January

“I mean we are sending some very mixed signals,” said Guilfoyle.

But city leaders are signaling probation could be ahead for the two stores.

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