The Brookhaven Police Department has a new specialized task force, Officer Carlos Nino says.
In response to reports of entering auto, theft of articles from a vehicle and theft of parts off vehicles—especially catalytic converters—Brookhaven decided to create a new unit dedicated to crime suppression.
“The NET team is going to be made up of one supervisor and two officers that will do heavy patrols during times when the crime analysts say entering autos and thefts from autos are occurring,” Nino said.
The Neighborhood Enforcement Team officers’ schedules will be flexible so they can patrol during the times when analysts say heavier officer presence will be most effective, he said.
On June 16, four separate reports of theft of articles from a vehicle were made regarding cars on Executive Park Drive in Brookhaven, which was annexed into the city at the start of the year. Since midnight on Dec. 31, 2014, Brookhaven police officers have patrolled the area.
But despite increased police attention, reports of break-ins and theft continued between June 16 and 21. Police put out an alert June 22 to warn residents and business owners to be more vigilant, Nino said.
“We put those out when we see a string of two or more incidents in a short amount of time, like overnight” Nino said. “That’s concerning to us.”
Nino said Brookhaven police want to continue efforts made in nearby cities such as Dunwoody, where signs remind drivers to “lock, take and hide” valuables. These signs, which are visible at businesses such as Perimeter Mall will start appearing in Brookhaven within the next year or so, Nino said he hopes.
“It’s a great program that we’re hoping to start here in Brookhaven soon,” Nino said. “We want to make it in partnership with neighboring businesses and we’re going to start working on that as soon as we can.”
Nino said officers will be selected and transferred from uniform patrol to the NET task force before the Fourth of July holiday.
“This is going to be a permanent unit that we’re planning to have as long as we can,” Nino said. “This is not a detail that will take place for only two months; it’s a permanent team.”