Posts Tagged ‘Police’

Extended stay motels help some, but hurt others

June 22, 2011 2 comments

City sees no room for hotel living  |

When I started reading this article, my thoughts wandered to the extended stay motels that dot the central part of South DeKalb. I can count at least twelve that I know of, so I am sure there are a dozen more I overlooked. I never really liked extended stays because they seem to be a magnet for crime no matter where they are. If you have ever driven south on Candler between I-20 and 285, you can see that many of the problems of prostitution, open drug deals, and general mayhem can be traced in part back to the extended stays in that corridor. After reading the above article, I realized that these places do serve a purpose for a small number of folks who have found traditional housing to be a challenge. I was really struck by one woman who described a situation where she found it nearly impossible to get an apartment through standard means.:

She recently found work as a shift manager at a Checkers fast-food restaurant. Harris runs the register, supervises four employees and opens or closes the restaurant depending on the schedule for $10 per hour.

That doesn’t leave much for savings, which is critical if Harris wants to move into her own place. Her application at a local apartment complex was recently denied after her credit report turned up an old unsettled bill. She was especially frustrated that she lost $20 on the application fee.

Other places have told her that her criminal record disqualifies her from consideration. Another complex accepted her application but wanted first and last month’s rent, which totaled $1,050.

Harris was forced to keep looking.

This woman has had some obvious challenges, and extended stay is her last option before living on the streets. And when there are children involved it makes it that much more distressing.

I would like to see DeKalb crack down on extended stays, but not to the point of pushing them out of business. Property owners should be held accountable for criminal activities that occur on their property. If there are code violations, the owners should be made to bring their property up to code or face stiff fines. And the police should put more resources into cleaning out problematic motels. If I, a normal citizen can see criminal activity from my car without having to stop and look for it, I have to believe the cops and the motel owners see it as well.


Issues South DeKalb should keep an eye on.

June 7, 2011 1 comment

Congressional District Lines

the redrawing of congressional lines and legislature lines will take center stage this summer. In August, a special session will begin the process of redrawing district lines to accommodate this states increase in population. As it stands the legislature will have 14 districts to draw as oppose to 13. Since republicans control all three branches of state government, you can expect Democrats to fare poorly during this once a decade redrawing. I for one hope the legislature looks at how DeKalb is carved up. DeKalb, with a population around 750 thousand has 4 congressional districts. That’s more than Fulton or Gwinnett. The legislature should bring all of DeKalb that is not in the 6th district or in the city of Atlanta back into the fourth. See a possible district breakdown here. DeKalb is basically an urban county with issues that more align with the central city than with more rural areas like Rockdale, or Henry, or South Fulton county. It is going to be interesting to see how the legislature deals with DeKalb. Aside from the congressional redrawing,  what could have a greater impact on DeKalb is the representation in the statehouse. As the AJC has reported on several occasions, DeKalb, along with Fulton has not kept pace in terms of growth with its exurban counterparts. In the state legislature DeKalb could lose a seat or two, weakening its delegation in the statehouse. That weakening would be a strengthening for a county like Forsyth wich has only a fraction of the population of DeKalb. If DeKalb does lose a seat or two, we all can guess where those seats will come from. If you want more info on the redrawing, check out this Google search


In the fall people all across the Metro area will vote whether or not to tax themselves an additional penny to fund transportation infrastructure throughout the region. By late August we should know exactly wich projects voters will be asked to fund. Many projects will affect South DeKalb. Things like mass transit, road improvements and interchange improvements are all on the list for DeKalb. I have stated in a prior post that I am not against a self-imposed tax for better transportation service throughout the metro. What I fear is that DeKalb residents will pay more and receive less. Rail service has been talked about in South DeKalb for decades, but none has materialized. The state DOT has already nixed the idea of rail service to Conyers, and rightfully so. The density of the population that far out just doesn’t warrant it just yet. But some sort of rail service to South DeKalb is long overdue. Two options benefitting South DeKalb could be placed on the final list for voters to approve. One  is rail transit from downtown to Candler Road and the other is  an extension of the Blue Line to Wesley Chapel. The cynic in me says neither will get the needed support from the roundtable that is tasked with providing the final list. If the final list comes out, and all we get in DeKalb are interchange improvements and other areas get more options, I would be inclined to say no to a new tax. But I will keep an open mind about the whole thing.


A friend of mine had his home broken into recently. The police responded and we started talking about police coverage where he lives. What he told me was astonishing. He said on any given night there are four cars patrolling an area from Moreland Avenue to Wesley Chapel/Flakes Mill Rd south of I-20. Yea that’s a huge area. I was shocked that an area that is so huge would have only four cars. My first instinct was to think the officer was exaggerating, but when a second car showed up, he said the same thing without knowing what we and the previous officer had spoken about. After a little bit of searching, I found this map of the South Precinct. If these divisions represent individual beats within the precinct, then I can see how its possible for only four cars to patrol the area. But even worse is that these same areas are becoming crime-ridden but a surge in police coverage has not kept pace.  It seems to me that the police are in a respond to incidents stage than proactively policing areas that are vulnerable to criminal activity.

DeKalb Police flex muscle in South DeKalb

April 19, 2011 4 comments

For those of you who have driven in South DeKalb for the last few weekends has probably notice the increased presence of DeKalb police especially in the Glenwood and Candler Road areas. I attend church on Glenwood, and have gotten used to seeing a large presence there to counteract what some call ‘Glenwood Day” which typically happens sometime in April. This year seems a bit different though. DeKalb has seemed to stretch their presence much further out than the Glenwood road area. Every weekend in April of this year, I have seen them in large numbers on up and down Columbia, Memorial, Candler and some of the side streets in the area. I myself was pulled over After my wife undid her buckle to check on our son who was in his car seat in the back. The officer questioned us for a minute or so and sent us on our way. (He was unusually polite, must have been my church clothes) Zero tolerance seems to mean zero tolerance right now. Now we know where the officers who used to patrol Dunwoody ended up. I for one am glad to see the police being proactive and possibly removing violent men and women off the streets of South DeKalb. I do have to wonder though, with the budget mess and other issues in the county, How long will this show of force last. A long and sustained show of force, along with residents doing their part, would make the area a much more pleasant place to be. If this thing is short lived, then I have to wonder why do it at all.

Proposed budget cuts gonna be hard for DeKalb residents

March 14, 2011 2 comments

Among the cuts probably headed our way according to AJC article:

Library to close

The library board voted to close the Scott Candler branch on McAfee Road. Other libraries will see reduced weekend and evening hours.

Cuts to police on the ground

A memo from Police Chief William O’Brien says he plans to cut 46 police officers, including the 40 vacancies the June academy was scheduled to fill and six new cadets

Closing precincts and response times

The chief is also looking at closing the Flakes Mill Precinct in south DeKalb and limiting responses to theft, fraud, harassing phone calls, vandalism, gambling and other non-emergency calls

Fire cuts personnel and stations

The fire department’s proposal calls for cutting 197 positions to privatize ambulance services. That includes 89 current employees and 108 vacancies. Of the 89 current employees, 83 are now in the fire training academy, according to a memo from Fire Chief Eddie O’Brien. He has also proposed temporarily closing stations 3 in Avondale Estates and 10 in east Atlanta during renovations

Dead bodies can wait

The medical examiner has proposed stopping weekend autopsies and storing bodies until weekday staff can handle them

More furloughs and layoffs

elections workers being furloughed 18 days and the voter registration office closing two days a month, except during October and November. Human resources, Planning, Geographic Information Services, and other departments have proposed layoffs

I guess they have trimmed all the fat and cut into the meat, now they are working on  the bone.

Using reserve officers to protect public buildings

April 21, 2010 Comments off

Dekalb Officers: Case Is Proven For Police Reserve Unit.

This is an idea that should be looked into. When I read the story in the AJC about the county eliminating, or curtailing private security at county owned buildings, I gasped. What the heck are they doing. You are going to take security away from areas that need it, then you are going to go public as to which buildings would not be staffed with security personnel. You are begging for a rise in criminal activity. Then I read the blog at DeKalb Officers. If the county could do this it would make sense. No officers have to be pulled from the street, yet you still get the professionalism that comes with reserve officers. I don’t know what the cost would be, or if there are liability issues to deal with, but there seems to be very little, if any downside to this Idea

Seized money to law enforcement

March 23, 2010 Comments off

2010-03-23_ITEMG2.PDF (application/pdf Object).

Tooling around the counties march meeting agenda, I ran across the above little nugget. It seems the county took a wire transfer of some half a million dollars from seized drug assets. According to the PDF the money is supposed to be used for law enforcement. I wonder how many of these monies the county gets on a yearly basis. Seized drug profits and the sales of confiscated property would plug a few holes in the Public Safety department, Don’t you think.

Categories: Budget, Police Tags: , ,

Grumpy, angry police does not bode well for some of “us”

February 26, 2010 1 comment

The following is a comment from the DeKalb officers speaks blog.

As I said before, and as “DeKalb Officers” point out, I will be there for you DeKalb. It’s in my “core being”. I’m just probably going to be grumpy as hell. Nothing to smile about anymore. Sorry, but can you blame me?

A grumpy police officer is a scary thought. The idea that an entire department is running around with a chip on its shoulder does not inspire confidence in me. I know not every DeKalb officer has these sentiments, but if enough do that can be a problem. check this comment:

Anonymous said…

To all of the officers with several years in. I don’t know how you made it. All of the turmoil you have been through, all the chaos, broken promises, paybacks, favorites and revenge. So let me say Thank you. Thank you for staying strong, for persevering, and for taking it one shift at a time. I cant go around saying it in person without looking like a serious a## kisser, so guys and gals I’ll say it here; I’m proud to be part of an agency that is still standing after all this crap.
and thanks DeKalb Officers blogsters, y’all are gangsta.

But BOC, CEO, and DeKalb Citizens, you could make it just a little bit easier for us….

What have we citizens done to DeKalb Police. Most citizens want a satisfied and professional police force. Many citizens including myself have said tax us just a bit more to keep public safety a number one priority. I have argued in the past that public safety should be the sacred cow of the county budget. Police officers saying they may respond a little slower to an emergency or be a little bit grumpy on the job is really scary and a bit unprofessional. A grumpy, angry, and upset man with a gun and a badge is not what I want to see the next time I get that speeding ticket on Candler.

Categories: Budget, Crime, Police Tags: , , , ,

DeKalb Commission, CEO battle over taxes, public safety

February 10, 2010 Comments off

DeKalb Commission rejects CEO’s threats of police layoffs  |

This is going to be interesting. You have a budget that is 80 plus million short, a commission that says it will not raise taxes, and a CEO who has the stones to fight for a tax increase. I think in the end, the CEO will come out of this with his tax increase. In this day and age no one wants to hear of their police or firefighters being cut. That is something that you do not want playing out in the media day after day. Look what it did to Atlanta when then-Mayor Shirley Franklin decided to furlough cops. Every crime was magnified by the media, and every citizen blamed, right or wrong, the furloughs. The CEO knows that he ain’t gonna cut cops from the force, especially the numbers floating around. And the commission, try as they may, will not come up with enough cuts to fill the budget shortfall. Right now everyone is saving face, but in the end we all will be stuck with larger tax bills. A tax increase is something where the anger will spike for a while but will settle back over time. Cut cops and firefighters, and you will relive that decision every time a body shows up on the news, or fire brings loss of life or property.

Poor neighborhoods suffering; No security for them

January 26, 2010 Comments off

Insecure > > The Sunday Paper :: All you need to know..

This is a great article from the Sunday Paper (Not AJC). This could be the future of much of South DeKalb. With the amount of abandoned houses, it is just a matter of time before the criminals realize the wealth of opportunity. I think much of South DeKalb is better off than their brethren in South Atlanta, but times are changing, and as middle-class residents flee South DeKalb for greener pastures in Rockdale and Henry, you will see more of the blight and criminal activity that you see in Mechanicsville. I feel the residents frustration at the local corner stores. These establishments exist to provide services to the criminal element. I would do everything legal to have them removed.

Special treatment for commisioner over warrants?

January 25, 2010 Comments off

GBI, sheriff question DeKalb handling of wanted commissioner  |

This stinks to high hell. There isn’t much I can say other than had this been you or I, we would still be fighting to get out of jail.  I can’t for the life of me understand why DeKalb Police would allow a person with warrants to leave the scene. The GBI, and a former prosecutor both said the same thing; she should have been hauled off to jail. This scandal may cost Barnes Sutton her position on the DeKalb Commission. This coupled with other financial problems being reported, should be enough to do her in. Then again crazier things have happened