By Kay Stephenson, VHCA Vice President and Safety Committee Member
Do you know about our neighborhood patrol also known as Fight Back Against Crime (FBAC)? This member-supported private security patrol was established over 25 years ago and is one of the longest running neighborhood patrols in the city.
Staffed by off-duty Atlanta Police Department officers who patrol in uniform and with full policing powers, the greatest benefit of the program is the increased police presence on our streets. An alarm system is a great way to notify police of a problem after it has occurred. But, alarms are essentially a reactive tool.
Most of an APD beat officer’s on-duty time is spent responding to 911 calls. They don’t have the time to do much proactive policing. This stands in contrast to our patrol where the primary focus is to proactively work to prevent crime.
FBAC officers not only patrol in vehicles but also get out of the vehicle and walk the streets. They engage and get to know residents and business owners, and they know the offenders who target Virginia-Highland. They question people walking in unlikely places at odd hours to determine their business. In this way, individuals with outstanding warrants and who have no proper business in our neighborhood can be stopped before they offend again. The FBAC patrol officer is the replacement for the beat cop of earlier times.
Benefits for single family home members include access to officers while on duty via cellphone; a monthly newsletter with crime reports, safety tips and the schedule for the upcoming month; home checks while you are on vacation; a yard sign and window decal to let criminals know you are protected; a home security evaluation with one of our officers; and a safe ride home when officers are on duty. Officers are patrolling the most likely crime areas of the neighborhood by car and on foot to spot potential criminal activity before it happens.
There are also options for individuals living in condominiums or apartment complexes and businesses. You can find more information and sign up to become a member at fbacvahi.com.