Brookhaven Safety Meetings, Past & Present

Thank you to the approximately 150 Brookhaven residents who attended last week’s public safety forum at Oglethorpe University.

It’s a shame that on the afternoon of this meeting, as political retribution for the passage of House Bill 181, CEO Vernon Jones abruptly ordered the police department not to participate.  The police department’s participation had been confirmed since July 18, and was confirmed again via e-mail the morning of the meeting.

Regardless of the CEO’s decidedly un-senatorial antics, I stand by HB 181 and the protection it affords DeKalb County taxpayers.

This is the second time recently that police department brass did not attend a Brookhaven community meeting in which they had agreed to participate, having previously missed a separate meeting organized for Brookhaven Heights by their neighborhood association.

The police department has scheduled yet another meeting this Tuesday, August 21, at 7:00 p.m. in Lupton Auditorium at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road.  DeKalb Police Chief Terrell Bolton will be there.  Please attend, make your voice heard, and get your questions answered.

As promised at last Tuesday’s meeting, the following are minutes of citizen comments and questions.  Also, as discussed, the anonymity of the residents who made the comments is being preserved.  I hope you find these minutes helpful as a glimpse into what is happening in our neighborhoods:

A resident of Drew Valley stated that her neighbors’ house was spray painted with graffiti.

A resident of Brookhaven Fields spoke in opposition to out of control county government spending, and the county’s failure to spend adequately on the right priorities, namely public safety.

Four separate residents of Lynwood Park addressed the ongoing problem with drug houses in their neighborhood.  Drug deals occur in the open throughout the day, and prostitution also is a problem.  There was a high level of frustration among residents of Lynwood Park who attended the meeting.

A resident of Brookhaven Chase stated that her automobile, parked in her garage, was broken into while she was hosting a dinner party in her house.  The resident stated that she placed four calls to 911, but the police never arrived.  The resident further stated that the police came at another time, but declined to dust the automobile for fingerprints.

A resident of Ashford Dunwoody Road inquired about the prevalence of gang activity in DeKalb County.

A resident of North Druid Hills Road argued that the county should crack down on criminal activity along Buford Highway, particularly gang activity.

A resident of Ashford Park asked whether crime rates are increasing or decreasing in Brookhaven.

A resident of Oglethorpe Estates inquired whether there is a website or any literature that explains the gang signs used by street gangs in DeKalb County.

A resident of the Fernwood Park Townhomes talked about two men who were seen casing Brookhaven Fields, and Cartecay Drive in particular.  This casing activity was followed by a series of break-ins in the neighborhood.

A resident of Brookhaven Heights mentioned that an SUV was stolen from Pine Grove Avenue the preceding night.

A resident of HillsDale encouraged residents to visit the North Precinct’s Yahoo Group (click for link) to get information about recent criminal activity in the area, and to share this information within their neighborhoods.

A resident who lives near Lynwood Park talked about a series of at least four car break-ins that occurred within a 30-minute period, which is how long the resident stated that it took the police to show up.  The resident argued that criminals are aware of police response times and purposefully flout the system.  The resident noted, however, that the perpetrator ultimately was apprehended.  The stolen goods never were recovered.

A resident of Ashford Park stated that he heard a car idling outside his house.  He later discovered that a man was sitting inside the car using the resident’s wireless Internet connection.  The perpetrator drives up and down residential streets looking for an unsecured wireless Internet connection.  The resident argued that laws against this type of activity should be strengthened.

A resident of Devereaux Commons asked in what places it is legal to carry a concealed firearm.

A resident of Harts Mill Road wanted the county to place more emphasis on resource allocation such that public safety would be a greater priority.