Sandy Springs Police Chief Kenneth DeSimone was promoted to chief in 2013, replacing former Chief Terry Sult, who eventually left to head up the police department in Hampton, Va. DeSimone said his first year saw a small decrease in crime rates. He said the department is also taking steps to combat crime at the city’s apartment complexes.
The Sandy Springs Reporter asked DeSimone for his take on 2013 and his expectations for the coming year.
Q: What do you consider the high point for the department in 2013? Well, maybe not a high point, but definitely a changing point was when I took over as chief of police in March 2013. Having already been with SSPD as the deputy chief for over 4 years it was an easy transition.
Q: What crime trends did you notice in 2013 compared with prior years? Crime trends remained about the same though we are about half a percentage point lower in Part 1 crimes for the year. Our main crime problem continues to be larceny and the majority of these are from autos. One of our main overall calls for police service continues to be traffic related incidents.
Q: What’s the oddest thing that happened in 2013? In police work you come across the strangest situations. A better question would be what is the oddest thing that happened this week.
Q: Apartment crime continues to be a concern in the city. What steps did you take in 2013 to reduce apartment crime? We have increased our presence in the apartment complexes through the use of bicycle, ATV and foot patrols. We have also increased our plain clothes officers in areas with higher 911 calls. Our district community officers have regular meetings with the apartment owners/managers to provide information on crime trends and crime prevention through environmental design advice.
Q: What do you expect for the department in 2014? We will continue to place an emphasis on the training and education of our force. Fielding usable technology that has an impact on increasing officer efficiency. Continue to place the officer first as the most important asset the department has in his or her quest to provide the best protection to the citizens that entrust so much to them.