Crime is down in Sandy Springs and residents and city officials couldn’t be happier.

On July 12, the police department took to the social networking site Twitter to report a 7 percent drop in Part One crime, the most serious crime categories. Crime has dropped six years in a row, the department reported.

Lisa Hrabe, president of the Riverside Homeowners Association board of directors, praised the police department’s work.

“I feel a lot better than we did before we became a city,” she said.

Sandy Springs Police Lt. Steve Rose said criminals are “leery” of stepping foot in the city.

“Our biggest drop in numbers is residential burglary,” Rose said in an email. “This has always been the main problem and complaint in north Fulton County. I think a lot of our efforts to reduce this category has to do with the patrol officers, who have good technology to work with … and coverage of beat areas. We have more beats and cars within each district than before.

“Another reason is the utilization of the crime suppression team (CST), which gives us the flexibility to move them into ‘hot spots’ and provide what we call relentless follow up until the problem is solved through arrest or the activity ceases. Part of any crime strategy is convincing the crooks to go visit someone else for a change. We know they’re going to do what they do, we do insist however, they do it somewhere else.”

City Manager John McDonough incorporated the news into his recent presentation to the Sandy Springs Rotary Club. He said the city has quadrupled the number of officers patrolling the streets.

Rose said that the department has a big focus on property crimes because that’s what it sees most.

“We have been successful in our investigations in a number of the robbery cases, arresting and clearing up other related cases where we believe the same suspects were responsible,” Rose said. “Many of these are parking lot/pedestrian robberies. Our detectives have done a good job doing what they do.”

Rose also said the department has put together a successful communications strategy, using social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, and sending out regular crime updates. He said it’s translated into more people picking up the phone to call police when they see something suspicious.

“Apartment management staff are in weekly contact with us on crime trends, series and patterns,” Rose said. “Where before, when apartment leasing staff didn’t want to talk about crime for fear of losing business, they now link us to their residents so that we all get on the same page. It is an overall community outreach that seems to be working to this point.”

Mayor Eva Galambos said residents have been “delighted with the police department from day one.”

“The police department is exceptionally good and I give them all the credit for reducing our crime rate. Of course they do have every kind of technology that we can think of to help them,” Galambos said.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com