VaHi Safety Team Report: 2013 Zone 6 Summary

City of Atlanta logo colorBy: John Wolfinger

Passing on this message from our APD Zone 6 Commander, Major Tim Peek, with a look back at the 2013 Zone crime stats and looking forward to 2014, urging citizen participation in crime prevention.  To see how big Zone 6 is – look at the map at  http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx  Zone 6 goes from Amsterdam Avenue southward to McDonough Boulevard, from the Downtown Connector on the west and eastward to the East Lake neighborhood.  VaHi is but a small part of the entire Zone 6 and we are designated as Beat 601, which follows our neighborhood boundaries.  Zone 6 is also the only APD Zone that is divided between two counties – Fulton and DeKalb.

Note that Major Peek urges those who have not registered their alarm systems to do so before February 1, 2014.  The reasoning is explained at http://www.ajc.com/news/news/police-atlanta-residents-businesses-must-register-/nY7Bm/

The most significant crime category we suffer here in VaHi is larceny from vehicle – so please remember the Clean Car Campaign and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.  Probably most of our VaHi victims of this crime are visitors to our many bars and restaurants – so I again urge our business community to remind their patrons of the danger of leaving ANYTHING visible in their cars before enjoying an evening here.  These thieves know that there is a gold mine of opportunity here and they will continue to roam our streets and parking lots – until they only find empty parked cars and go elsewhere.

Happy New Year!

John

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Citizens of Zone Six, please see the information below…

2013 Overall Crime Statistics

2% up YTD from 2012

2% up YTD from 2011

18% down YTD from 2009

Robbery arrests – 72 robbery suspects arrested in 2013 (18 arrests in the last two months)

Burglary arrests – 74 burglary suspects arrested in 2013 (9 in the last two months)

Theft from auto arrests – 109 suspects arrested for breaking into autos in 2013

You may ask the question “What does any of these statistics mean?” If you, a family member or friend have been the victim of a crime, absolutely nothing. Please know that no number can take the place of a victim of crime. As a method of seeing what’s happening and where, it is critical that we look a these numbers to develop crime trends and strategies. Over time, statistics will paint a picture of what is taking place in the community. The law enforcement profession has undergone enormous changes. Each day, it appears that we are dealing with new crime trends all over. In attempts to make a difference, we are performing many additional tasks aimed at reaching youths since we are seeing a growing trend of senseless crimes attributed to youthful offenders. Of course, if youth commit crimes, the responsibility of the police department is to deliver the offenders to the judicial system and formally charge them just as we would for an adult. We are also working closely with the DeKalb and Fulton County District Attorney’s Offices. We have also reached out and received support from our state and federal law enforcement partners.

In 2013, we experienced a disturbing trend with violent crime.  With that, we also experienced an increase in arrests for those same crimes.  In the last two months, we have arrested 7 persons for burglary and 18 persons robbery/armed robbery.  Although we can’t call this a victory, we can consider it a great step in the right direction.  What is significant is that several investigations were aided by citizens taking the time to report suspicious activity.  This police/citizen partnership is so very important in fighting crime.  We also worked closely with our law enforcement neighbors in the metropolitan area.  Particularly, Zone Six worked closely with DeKalb County’s South Precinct to investigate many of the crimes that border both jurisdictions.  Zone Six also received an enormous amount of support from other sections within the Atlanta Police Department such as our Special Operations Section, Special Enforcement Section and our Community Oriented Policing Section.  All were willing participants and we look forward to working with all for continued progress.

For 2014, we hope that you (citizens and residents) will remain vigilant and continue to partner with police.  We know and realize that without public support, we may struggle to expediently develop information that we need to solve certain crimes.  We ask that you continue to do the following:

  • We ask that you continue to look, observe and report any suspicious activity to the police by calling 911.
  • Install an alarm system if you don’t already have one. Make sure all windows and doors are covered with sensors.  Glass break sensors and audible sirens are also great. Once you have the system installed, be sure to have it registered with the City of Atlanta.  You can do so by going to https://www.crywolf.us/oss/atlantaga/.
  • Light up your lots so that your neighbors can easily see suspicious activity around your homes.
  • At night, please close curtains and blinds so that prowlers cannot see inside your homes at night.  Investigations have revealed that professional criminals often go out and scout which properties they will target.  That is why they are able to hit and leave in such a fast manner.
  • Reinforce your door thresholds so that a simple kick will not allow easy access.  Although not cheap, there are some decorative storm doors that will not simply shatter.  They are good at deterring crime but they must be properly installed.
  • Continue helping with the Clean Car Campaign.  Remember not to hide items in your car but keep them out of your car.  Leave them at home or take them with you when you get out of your cars.
  • Be watchful and always be aware of your surroundings.  Listen to your gut feelings. If someone’s presence makes you uncomfortable, avoid remaining in their immediate presence.
  • When you receive notice of arrests from our Court Watch programs, please be willing to participate in the court process and show up.  We need your help to slow and stop the process of repeat offenders entering and exiting the jails, only to prey on more victims.

In closing, we look forward to having a great 2014.  Our hearts go out to all families that were victims of violent crime, and particularly those who experienced bereavement as a result of crime in Zone Six and throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area.  We can’t simply close out 2013 and act as if it never happened but we can learn from history and hopefully, we can change the future.  Get to know each other and be good, nosy neighbors.  I look forward to working with each and every person.  Happy New Year!

The mission of the Atlanta Police Department is to create a safer Atlanta by reducing crime, ensuring the safety of our citizens and building trust in partnership with our community.

Sincerely,

Major T. D. Peek

Commander, Zone Six Precinct

Atlanta Police Department

2025 Hosea Williams Drive

Office – 404-371-5002

City Cellular – 404-831-0824

Efax    – 404-546-9110

Email  – TPeek@AtlantaGa.Gov

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