Ongoing development, the bustling Perimeter Center and close proximity to I-285 and GA 400 all are expected to contribute to increasing crime rates in the city and spell out a need for more police personnel, according to Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan.
Grogan made a presentation to the City Council during its Feb. 4 council retreat, explaining that while the city experienced a 4.4 percent decrease in 2015 in Part 1 crimes (such as murder, rape, aggravated assault, larceny, burglary and car theft) for a total of 2,125 crimes, Dunwoody also experienced a 35.4 percent increase in crimes against persons (including aggravated assault, domestic violence, battery), jumping from 65 crimes to 88 crimes.
Also, calls for service in 2015 were up 3.9 percent for a total of 56,399, and the department reported 45.1 calls per officer. There are 54 officers working for the Dunwoody Police Department; the city’s population is 47, 531. Last month the city swore in three new officers.
“The workload of our patrol officers continues to rise as new businesses and residents move into Dunwoody,” Grogan stated in a memo to the council.
“The addition of State Farm and several new hotels will only contribute to our growing challenges. The two new hotels are expected to add over 300 calls for service per year and approximately 50 Part 1 crimes,” Grogan added. “These calculations do not take into consideration the added restaurants and other outparcels adjacent to these sites which will increase calls for service to over 500 and increase Part 1 crimes to over 100.”
Grogan also said that, compared to other cities, Dunwoody’s Part 1 crime rate is “unacceptably high.”
For example, the city of Alpharetta has an approximate population of 63,442, which is 33.5 percent larger than Dunwoody, yet Alpharetta reported a 39.2 drop in Part 1 crime and a 54.4 percent lower crime rate for 2015, Grogan said.
“They also have 92.6 percent more officers with a 44.3 percent increase in their ratio of police officers to citizens,” he stated.
The city of Roswell is twice the size of Dunwoody at more than 95,000 people, yet Dunwoody reported 7.2 percent more Part 1 crime than Roswell in 2015.
To meet with increasing demand, Grogan is asking the council hire in 2017 a police service representative, a permit technician, one prisoner transport officer and a community outreach officer for a total of $262,504.
Over the next five years, Grogan wants to also add 11 patrol officers, two detectives and a sergeant.
Dunwoody Police calls for 2015
56,399 calls for service – up 3.9 percent
2,146 Part 1 crimes – down 4.9 percent
88 crimes against persons – up 35.4 percent
656 forgery/fraud calls – up 15.9 percent
2,129 arrests – down 12.5 percent
737 shoplifting arrests – up 4.2 percent
2,979 accidents – up 8.6 percent