New APD Patrol Cars (Courtesy Atlanta Police Department)

The Atlanta Police Department has a new look on the street with the rollout of 70 new 2014 Ford Interceptor patrol vehicles. The vehicles are equipped with the latest in-car electronic technology including high-definition dashboard and rear seat video cameras, full-time digital video and audio recording, automatic download of video clips to a network of distributed video servers, an integrated real-time GPS Field Management System with mapping and wireless “hot spot” capabilities.

Atlanta City Councilmember Natalyn Archibong introduced legislation in September to create the District 5 Atlanta-in-DeKalb Police Jurisdiction Task Force. The council passed the legislation unanimously. The task force will address concerns raised by residents in City of Atlanta neighborhoods located in DeKalb County. Since Atlanta and DeKalb have independent 911 call centers and separate police departments, Archibong said residents who live on the border have reported slow emergency response times, calls being routed across jurisdictional boundaries, and confusion from first responders.

The Atlanta Police Foundation announced the hiring of Sandy Smith as Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer. Smith joins the Foundation with extensive experience in fundraising and resource development and will be responsible for executing the Foundation’s $8.1 million Public Safety: Next Generation campaign. Smith worked previously with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, where she led the fundraising efforts as Vice President and Chief Development Officer. The Public Safety: Next Generation campaign aims to reduce crime and position Atlanta as a model city for public safety through investment in cutting-edge technology, “smart” policing, improved police effectiveness, leadership and community engagement in addressing public safety issues.

The Decatur Police Department has released a list of places that citizens can go for help if they feel they are being followed. With the new police department currently under construction, it is not as easy as it used to be. The location that is staffed 24 hours is the Communications Center that is currently located at 314-C Church St. with the entrance just to the right of the Big Peach Running Company on E. Trinity Place. Police officials also suggested going to 24-hour gas stations around the city limits, including those on North Decatur Road, Clairemont Avenue, Scott Boulevard, DeKalb Industrial and Lawrenceville Highway. Other places to seek help: the front desk at the Marriott on Clairemont Avenue, Fire Station 1 on E. Trinity Place, Fire Station 2 on W. Hill Street and the emergency rooms at DeKalb Medical or Emory Hospital. Always call 911if you feel like you are in danger.

The Atlanta Police Intelligence Network (APIN), developed in partnership with Formulytics, an Atlanta-based software development company, has revolutionized the Atlanta Police Department’s approach to investigating crimes involving gangs, and resulted in better cases presented to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Since launch of the case file system, indictments increased 97 percent from 2011 to 2012, and guilty pleas on Georgia gang statute violations were achieved in 22 of 31 cases.

 

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.