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How Many Police Officers Does Brookhaven Need?

Various numbers have been thrown out, but how many police officers are needed to serve and protect the City of Brookhaven?

The City of Brookhaven is estimated to have a population of about 50,000. So how many police officers does it need in its own police department?

Sandy Springs Police Chief Terry Sult, the expert member of the Governor's Commission on Brookhaven's Police Committee, said he estimates that Brookhaven will need to begin with about 50 to 58 police officers.

Sult explained that population of an area is not the sole factor to consider when determining the size of a police department. The square miles of the area served, along with the average calls for service and crime rates and type of crimes should also be considered.

No matter how many officers Brookhaven hires initially, Sult stressed that it's important to not "overhire."

“It’s easier to (eventually) hire more people. It’s much more difficult to get rid of them once you hire them. That’s not the precedent you want to set to brand new police officers that are coming in," Sult told the police committee members at their Wednesday meeting. "You’ll ruin your reputation, and they’ll think it’s not a stable environment for them to come to work in. You won’t get the quality people you want into the city.”

However, at least one volunteer present at the meeting disagreed with Sult.

Ashford Park Civic Association President Ronnie Mayer was vocal about his desire for Brookhaven to begin with at least 75 officers in its police department.

“To go back to the city council to ask for more money for police is like breaking your arm…We need to start with 75 officers because we have the demographics of Smyrna,” Mayer said. “This little thing on Buford Highway– it is (full of) thugs; it is (filled with) gangs. It is murders.”

What do you think? How many officers should the Brookhaven Police Department have at its start? Tell us below in the comments.

HamBurger October 05, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Mr. John, you are crazy. If you do your research Rep. Mike Jacobs has stated several times that there is more than enough revenue to fund his new city and provide top notch services and amenities. All this talk about having to rob from one budget to take care of another is absurd, just review in detail the Vinson study and you will readily see that it covers everything. We are going to have a wonderful new city! Now if you will excuse me, I have some rose colored glasses I need to purchase. Ah, that special hamburger and Cheerwine is going to taste so much better once we have Rep. Mike Jacobs new city!
Booyah October 05, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Direct quote from Hambuger "there is more than enough revenue to fund his new city and provide top notch services and amenities" For once our beefy expert is correct.
John Q Public October 05, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Mr Hamburger, Once you secure those rose colored glasses, please review the CVI again. You will find rainbows, lush lawns, money rolling in in wheelbarrows and butterflies landing on the shoulders of the residents. There will also be a happy tune playing all of the time like elevator music. It will be grand....and you may even find J Max Davis (pending lawnmower investigation case being solved) humming to himself while enjoying a nice cool bud at 8 am mowing the grass at the parks.
Eddie E. October 05, 2012 at 02:16 PM
res, Once again proving that some people lack a sense of sarcasm.
Eric H October 05, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Brookhaven is very different from Smyrna. Smyrna is 15.3 square miles vs our 12. But more importantly, it has a very oddly shaped boundary with numerous islands of unincorporated area. http://www.smyrnacity.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2014 I suspect this is from odd parcel by parcel annexations over the years, but it certainly makes its size much larger from a patrol point of view than our contiguous and uniformly shaped boundary. Also and perhaps this is a function of their coverage area, they have a much wider dispersion of crime which would necessitate more patrols to keep adequate response times. https://www.crimereports.com/ While Smyrna has similar demographics in that its poverty level is 13.7% vs. Brookhaven's 12.2% it has a different age and cultural makeup http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/13/1371492.html . In other words much of Brookhaven's poverty rate is comprised of first generation immigrants, and first generation immigrants have a demonstrated lower crime rate than those who have been raised in families that suffered through consistent cycles of poverty. Smyrna also operates and mans their own 911 in addition to their own jail (yes these are not included in patrols - but are managed. Though they do have their own internal SWAT unit. http://www.smyrnacity.com/index.aspx?page=377 and probation unit.

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