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County Leadership Is Making Our Community Unsafe

In the latest entry into The Forum, a neighbor says a city of Brookhaven would make the community safer.


Over the past 2 years, I have tried to stay active and informed as to the happenings in Brookhaven.  In order to stay abreast of crime, I have CrimeTrac alerts emailed to me and I keep in touch with local police officers. In regards to crime, the last 18 months have been very troublesome.

None more troublesome, however, than the last seven days starting with Wednesday, June 20.

I have heard from opponents of the No City crowd that we have adequate police protection. I have heard from DeKalb Police that we have more than adequate officers on the road at all times.

Over the last seven days, there have been five violent crimes; four of these crimes happened within 36 hours.  And, all five of these crimes happened within two to three miles of each other.

According to DeKalb Police reports, on Wednesday, June 20, there was an armed robbery/carjacking on Glen Way (within yards of Hudson Grill), an armed robbery/carjacking on Kendrick Drive (1/2 mile from Hudson Grill) and yet another armed robbery AT Hudson Grill. These three crimes happened within 1/2 mile of each other. Two happened within mere yards, yes that is yards, of each other. In two cases, one victim was shot at and one was pistol whipped.

Things got worse. The following day, Thursday, June 21, there was another armed robbery/carjacking at Blackburn Park. Same suspects. 

The good news. The suspects were apprehended. I called officers that I knew and discovered something interesting. What I found was that the chase of three of the suspects that ended in Buckhead, was initiated by an off-duty officer working a security job in the area. 

That's right. Private citizens paid for the extra person that DeKalb County could not provide on its own.

Despite this, things go even worse. On Monday, June 25, a fifth armed robbery occurred at the DeKalb County park at the corner of Osborne Road and Peachtree Road. In this case, the suspect smashed a car window while the driver was in the car!

I have tried to figure out how adequate police coverage could allow so many violent crimes to occur within such a short period of time and within such a small geographic area.

I have heard the commander of the North Precinct, Major Ellison, describe in public, how DeKalb Police could move resources into an area when needed to address crimes such as those described above. 

How did four armed robberies/carjackings occur within 36 hours and occur within mere miles, and in some cases, yards of each other? Where were the resources when citizens needed them? Why were they not deployed faster?

The answer. DeKalb County leadership has lost focus on the citizens within the proposed City of Brookhaven. 

DKPD officers are honest, vigilant and dedicated. DeKalb County leadership, however, is not.

I did some research and asked around. Major Ellison is running for Dawson County Sheriff. Reader's Digest version: Major Ellison is running a political campaign while running the North Precinct, which by the way, is located in the city of Dunwoody, not Brookhaven.

The officers of the North Precinct serve an area of 100,000 people. It takes more than a few minutes time for an officer to respond to an event in Brookhaven when he or she is busy dealing with traffic and crime on Pleasantdale Road.

DeKalb County police has to focus on the other 650,000 people and 258 square miles in DeKalb while trying to keep the 50,000 residents in Brookhaven safe from the type of crimes listed above.

In the proposed city of Brookhaven, the 50,000 residents would have a police force dedicated only to this area, a chief of police whose sole interest was this area, a precinct actually located in this area, and more police officers per shift to make criminals unwelcome in Brookhaven.

It is time to make a change. It is time to make our families safer.

It is time for a City of Brookhaven.

Dean Stansel

HamBurger June 28, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Mr. J. Max, your dislike of anything DeKalb is legendary. You have expressed several times how much you feel DCPD does not provide adequate service to your neighborhood. Nothing I can say to you will change that. I see police cars with regularity behind Oglethorpe and around Murphy Chandler. Additionally, there is nothing I can say to persuade you that DCPD feels that Neighborhood Watch programs are an effective component of policing. However, this evening you can ask Billy Grogan how he feels about citizen involvement in protecting their community. “The Dunwoody Police Department Community Outreach Unit is available to assist with the training and setting up of Neighborhood Watch programs. The Neighborhood Watch program is one of the oldest and best-known crime prevention concepts in North America. In the late 1960’s, an increase in crime heightened the need for a crime prevention initiative focused on residential areas and involving local citizens. The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) responded, creating the National Neighborhood Watch Program in 1972 to assist citizens and law enforcement.” Neighborhood Watch program http://tinyurl.com/7pbrvpx Citizen's Police Academy http://tinyurl.com/7o8cbwx Please pass the yellow mustard!
not one of 60 June 28, 2012 at 08:19 PM
More Broccoli less meat! = Healthy Population! Go Broccoli! Go Brookhaven! Burgers = No City = Dekalb! Death wish!
not one of 60 June 28, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Gre-eeeg! PULeeese, don't mind me b/c I could care less about you! BYE! No city fool!
HamBurger June 28, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Some interesting reading in preparation for this evening’s meeting at Cross Keys . . . Removing Our Defective Characters http://tinyurl.com/76qhkhy Special hamburger and a cheerwine?
not one of 60 June 28, 2012 at 08:28 PM
"We've been saying from the beginning," said Mary Ellen Imlay, "there's not enough money in the [projected City of Brookhaven] budget, there's not enough commercial money, not enough residential money, and the city is not viable. But then MS IMLAY??? Why does Dekalb want to keep it so bad???. So they can rezone it and take "donations" for new apartment complexes for your friends? Time for the big Kahuna time to cool off in your CCC pool: deep end w/lots of libations! Cheers! It's hot out there! Please tell hamburger to eat more broccoli!!!
not one of 60 June 28, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Paid for by developers, lawyers, certain foundations, slum lords, strip club owners, special tax credit users, Lithonia lovers, strip mall supporters, no tree ordinance supporters, no code enforcement supporters... EAT MORE BROCCOLI
Eddie E. June 28, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Is it that the Hudson Grill is open too late? That the parking lot needs more lighting? That they need parking lot security? This seems to point more to a location providing a location for crimes of opportunity rather than the need for an Opposed City and its tiny little police department.
Enuff Govt Already June 28, 2012 at 08:51 PM
What, they can't be on Pleasantdale because Dunwoody used this same tactic when they neared the vote but they said DeKalb Police where on Buford Hwy. Dean if you can predict the next criminal act and find a way to teleport the police instantly to it then you could be a billionaire. This opinion piece sounds like you’ve gone in to hysterics; if you think last week was bad then you should have been in Lynwood Park 15 years ago. The news report showed multiple police vehicles on the scene (team work). If the "privately hired officer" got involved then kudos to the officer and if the "privately hired officer" played a pivotal role in the capture of the bad guys then by all means congratulate him again. Remember in high school how the coach emphasized one's assignment in a play. Everyone executing their assignments lead to big plays and wins. If the private officer heard about the robbery and left the private patrol to get involved, great they acted as a police officer for all county residents and not as a private security guard. The officer executed his assignment and the team had a great play!
Enuff Govt Already June 28, 2012 at 08:52 PM
About those tax dollars, did the county train and equip the private officer? I've noticed a lot of off duty D'woody officers working at various businesses in PCID providing security, is there not some semblance of adequate police coverage there? Why didn't they stop that murder last week; why they only have 12 square miles to patrol? It is a BLESSING to have the financial means to provide for security guard service, I know there are many high crime areas in the metro that would love to be able to pay for an off duty officer to patrol their specific neighborhood. But if you wish to assert the "privately hired officer" single handedly made north DeKalb County a safer place then so be it. The police we have were on patrol in Brookhaven and the bad guys are in jail. Your right, DKPD officers are honest, vigilant and dedicated so why would we replace them with an emasculated police service. And the police precinct was definitely moving out of D'woody to Brookhaven until this cityhood push began. If the city is approved then there will not any DeKalb Police not of 85. The sky isn't falling and we don't need more gov't.
not one of 60 June 28, 2012 at 08:56 PM
No Dekalb Police North of I 85! Horray - more parking at quick trip!
not one of 60 June 28, 2012 at 09:07 PM
http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/big-us-cities-boom-1465936.html
Bill Lowe June 28, 2012 at 09:27 PM
I know that many people would love to have an armed guard follow them wherever they go, and for some, this will give a sense of security. It does not guarantee protection and it never will. Having a police officer stationed every 1/4 mile on every street 24 hours a day will not eliminate crime. Crime will still happen, and will be even more embarrassing when it happens right under the nose of the police. These crimes which you are listing are common all over the United States. It is not something that happens only in DeKalb County. Seems like that area is a target for one reason or another. Maybe Marta was shut down for the night? I think that those involved in the push for a new city have unrealistic expectations as far as what they will get---no matter how much money you have in a pseudo budget or an unlimited one. Those unrealistic expectations are not just limited to Police services. Roads and drainage will be another large segment of disappointment. Even building a wall around your city will not keep invaders out, but will give a false sense of security when your crimes are committed by those that live within the walls. The wall idea is a good one though, and that should be figured in to a future budget. Just make sure to make it tall and wide, have it heavily armed, and do not allow people in or out unless they have permission. Wait, I think I just described a prison. Quite fitting....and crime happens there too.
Max Headroom June 29, 2012 at 10:16 AM
For the uninformed, those are not Dunwoody Officers working traffic in the PCID. Pull your head out and see the sunshine, the are DeKalb officers working off duty jobs. Dunwoody officers are working part of the additional traffic for the construction of the diverging diamond interchange, but NOT the CID traffic daily, that is TOTALLY off-duty DeKalb officers.
blondie227 June 30, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Dear Sir, you are manipulating the facts because you want Brookhaven to be a city so badly. I don't think you should trash DKPD officers or Major Ellison. He does not campaign while on duty. If he is working in DeKalb, his wife and his teenage children handle his events and campaign functions for him. He is a very dedicated officer to the people of DeKalb County and has been for over 24 years. He still continues to sacrifice his family life so that you and your family are safe, and that his officers are safe. You do realize that while your sleeping, Major Ellison is hard at work making sure you are safe. Majors are always on call and your safety and what's going on in DeKalb come first in the Major's life. Sometimes that means leaving home and responding to a situation or setting up a command post during winter weather to make sure you and your family are safe. I understand his commitment to the people of DeKalb and I am willing to concede the sacrifices that have to be made to protect you, because that is his job. Please don't interject your lack of knowledge and facts into a situation you do not know anything about. The truth is you want Brookhaven to be a City for your own reasons and not because the citizens are neglected by the PD or Major Ellison. You want it because you want it.
Jack of Kings July 05, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Why does anyone think that a new police department will have "green, less experienced and undermanned police force.?" It is laughable. The City will not be hiring an inexperienced police chief and then hire all rookies. Do you really think you can convince voters to think--"Well, um. Guess that's true. All those new police departments that start up cannot attract experienced officers and they have to hire newbies.I am scared to have a new City. The whole police force will be manned by 24 year-old new officers that are still in training at other jurisdictions now." LOL I have spoken to a couple of DKPD officers that are not too pleased with what is going on at the County. One officer with 5 years experience offered that if Brookhaven became a city he might apply for the new police department. Something tells me he is not an isolated case. I guess you have to just hope that naivete and gullibility is the order of the day come July 31.
Max July 05, 2012 at 03:03 PM
All good points,Phil. New Police departments offer Master Police Officers, seasoned personnel, and line Officers better career opportunities with educational reimbursement, take home cars, and solid healthcare benefits. As well, barriers to advancement are not usually present in any new organization. The references to 'toy', 'tiny', 'little' Police departments are misleading and do not represent the reality of newer Agencies. My suggestion to Patch readers is to ask DeKalb Police for a 'ride-a-long,' and see for yourself. Most DeKalb officers do an excellent job, but they are stretched over a wide area, concentrating known crime areas. A local force is concentrated on it's much smaller jurisdictional footprint.
Enuff Govt Already July 05, 2012 at 03:34 PM
The model city and even Chamblee only offer a patrol or uniform function and several (5 or 6) general purpose investigators. The county by contrast provides our area with multiple options through an economy of scale. http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/DK_Police/index.html# D'woody gives you something like 28 patrol officers to cover them 24/7/365 and Chamblee gives you something like 37 patrol officers to cover them 24/7/365; maybe 7 officers on duty at any given point but nothing more and nothing more to draw upon. If our area was in some rural county and it was the population center then I could see a small department. DeKalb and even north DeKalb is in the center of a large population with the large city crime challenges. The Brookhaven model, taking all the designated tax line item and using it for other city gov't functions does not allow us to tap into the enhanced police services by the county. We would pay more and wait for any needed investigative needs; any emergency needs like SWAT or crowd control, or even K9 or the helicopter. Even Chamblee acknowledges the need for enhanced police service but Brookhaven Yes just wants to put their head in the sand.
Max July 05, 2012 at 03:50 PM
This statement is inaccurate because new cities enter into Intra Governmental Agreements (IGA's) for services like SWAT, helicopter, K-9, etc. "The Brookhaven model, taking all the designated tax line item and using it for other city gov't functions does not allow us to tap into the enhanced police services by the county." Is Dekalb currently using their 'copter? I thought it was grounded for budgetary reasons?
Enuff Govt Already July 05, 2012 at 08:06 PM
The county or other cities do not give away their services for free to ither municipalities. IGAs besides spelling out the "hows" also spell out the financials. They're essentially contracts and it means that a new city wanting to use another government's item can use it only when that gov't isn't using it. I remember the last ice storm and the city of Chamblee's mayor complaining because the county's public works hadn't got to them yet (they have an IGA for public works apparently). If money is continually taken out of the county police budget just how long will the enhanced services like SWAT/K9/helicopters or any of the other services be offered? Downgrading our police service is dangerous!
Thomas T Telford July 05, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Max, Don't you live in Dunwoody?
Hannah H Humprey July 05, 2012 at 09:39 PM
What does it matter, the guy makes sense. Plus, Max is my dog's name - You are just asking that question to make a big deal over nothing. I read Maxxies comments and I think his points are smart and valid.
HDM July 05, 2012 at 09:41 PM
For those who don't know, Max is a Dunwoody resident who resisted their cityhood campaign but now, a few years down the road, sees the benefits to incorporated that we will also experience in Brookhaven. I welcome his wisdom.
HamBurger July 05, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Mr. Dean, here is an interesting quote for you: “Rep. Mike Jacobs asked me to chime in about this incorporation because I supported the idea of improving DeKalb County governance as opposed to creating Dunwoody. I spent a great deal of personal time attending each Government Affairs Committee meeting, and many community meetings as well.” This is L. Max Lehmann from a post at Peach Pundit. http://tinyurl.com/6tqes5z As a resident of Dunwoody and on the board rewriting Dunwoody code, should he actively inject himself in a city that he does not live in? I live here, am not for the city and I am accused of being a “county lobbyist”. However, Mr. Max, a BY supporter, gets a pass . . . Special hamburger and a Cheerwine?
Hannah H Humprey July 05, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I read the link and he sounds a lot more intelligent than an anonymous Hamburger! Who do you represent?
Thomas T Telford July 05, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Ham, Are you saying that our State Rep got a hired gun to advocate for his city hood effort? Looks like it to me. Thats a shame.
Hannah H Humprey July 05, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Triple T and Hamburger: Keep in mind that Max's position is open, transparent, and quite obvious. Clearly, he does not hate DeKalb County as you accuse, nor even stoops to your level of mendacity. Even paid County lobbyist Bruce Bowers could do better than you two, didn't you take notes??? This is what Americans do - We quarrel and then we vote. Your slash and burn tactics are un-American. I will say that your almost schizophrenic-like conversations between online caricatures are ineffective, childlike, and a bit creepy, in my opinion. If you see me at the Old Blind Dog, buy me a drink and I will explain my points using one syllable words so you won't get further confused.
Be Good To Your Brothers July 05, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Hello. Seems like the summer heat is getting some tempers to flair. I hope you all had a nice 4th and took a moment to reflect and say a prayer of Thanks to God for all that we have. I just returned from a church function where we ended up one again discussing city hood. Our Pastor reminded each of us that God has already made His plan and for us not to worry. So people please find a moment of comfort in these words and Be Good to Your Brother, for You are Your Brothers keeper. 2Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
HamBurger July 06, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Ms. Hannah, no, that is incorrect. Mr. Max’s position has not been open and transparent on any forum relating to his pro stance since that post on Peach Pundit. Only when repeatedly called out on the Patch has Mr. Max revealed that he is actually a citizen of Dunwoody. And, that he is involved with the rewrite of Dunwoody’s zoning code. Today when his post from Peach Pundit was linked to him we publically found out on the Patch that he was working on this forum at the behest of Rep. Mike Jacobs. Post your feelings; post your disclaimer . . . Let me find out who is pulling your strings? Please . . . There is one more individual that falls into this category, I wonder if he will admit it? Folks think this new city business is just peaches and cream . . . Until they get it figured out some point down the road, but then it will be too late. Dream your foolish dreams; I am not going to relive my real life experiences with ill-conceived and poorly managed cities . . . Again! But, folks have not been given that time to absorb it all. Politically, this could be compared to a carjacking or break and rob: You are a part of it quicker than you think because you were given not enough to digest legitimate studies promoting cityhood. Because there have been no legitimate and complete studies performed! A reader asks, what is the secret ingredient to excellent potato salad and deviled eggs? Green olives!
HamBurger July 06, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Ms. Hannah, also, I want you to know if you have a need for a really connected specialist that can assist you with your DeKalb County property assessment protestation, I have just the fellow that can help you! Rep. Mike Jacobs! http://atlantaappeals.com/ Please pass the yellow mustard!
Danny Marshall July 06, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Hannah, well-spoken enough to not only earn a Miller Lite at OBD, but possible a Fat Tire. That's the highest form of a complement from ol' DM.

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