July 4, 2019–1:20 a.m.
Sheriff Tim Burkhalter has established a Gang Unit for the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office.
“We want to be as proactive as possible when it comes to protecting our community. I believe forming a unit to track, monitor, and combat gangs in Floyd County will help us to fight back against the recent increase in violent gang-related activity. We are eager to continue working with the Rome City Police Department, Floyd County Police Department, and other agencies to fight this problem.” said Burkhalter.
The new unit is composed of deputies from both Field Operations and the Jail Division. Corporal Chris Parton, Deputy Jamison Johnston, Deputy Josh Wright, and Jail Officer Blake Heptinstall currently make up the FCSO Gang Unit.
All members have been through Gang Investigator Training and will attend additional training to ensure that they stay current with all the legal updates for the successful prosecution of gang-related crimes. Another source of information will be through the Georgia Gang Investigators Association which allows for information sharing between agencies statewide.
Earlier this week, our Gang Unit charged multiple individuals with Participating in Criminal Gang Activity, as well as other charges, for an incident that occurred in the Floyd County Jail last Thursday, June 27, 2019.
In this situation, a group of known gang members attacked or assisted in the attack on an individual in a Maximum Security cell block. A conviction of this felony charge carries a possible sentence of 5 – 20 years as well as fines to be determined at sentencing. This sentence would be in addition to any other sentence from subsequent charges related to the same incident.
If you have any information about gang activity in your area, you can contact our Gang Unit at (706) 291-4111 ext. 8824 and ask for one of the deputies listed earlier. All information can be given anonymously.