Thanks to President Obama’s stimulus package, Clayton county residents will see more officers on the street.
While part one index crimes collectively (rape, armed robbery, burglary, theft, arson, etc.) that were reported to the FBI are down 6% in Clayton from January-June of 2009, as per Chief Jeff Turner, burglaries and theft are up.
“A lot of people are out of work, our economy is in crisis and some people are taking desperate measures,” says Turner. “That’s not only in Clayton county, but nationwide. Crime is down here, but we want it down further and we’re making a concerted effort to keep it down.”
Operation T.E.A. (”Target Enforcement Area”) Party is a new Clayton County Police Department initiative, which will saturate a different area each week with a constant police presence. Every Monday the CCPD will hold a staff meeting to analyze crime around the county. “We look at the most problematic area during the previous week, strategize and target that specific area,” says the Chief.
A mobile precinct is set up and for a full week, the CCPD utilizes all of Clayton’s agencies (including but not limited to: code enforcement, aviation, animal control and special operations) to control any and all crime and address quality of life issues in the targeted area. The Sheriff’s Department will also serve outstanding warrants.
And once the week is over, CCPD will not disappear. “We have officers assigned to beats and whatever officer is assigned to that particular area will continue to patrol that area,” adds Turner.
CCPD will also offer safety tips to homeowners. “Our point is crime prevention and deterrent. We will be knocking on doors, talking to homeowners about allowing the police to do a security assessment of their homes,” says the Chief. “It’s about education and awareness.”
As always, CCPD needs community assistance. “Homeowner associations have provided a lot of vital information to help us, but we need the entire community’s input, both residents and businesses, to point out problematic areas,” adds Turner. “They are a vital part of making this operation a success by telling us what’s going on in their neighborhoods.”
The curfew ordinance will also be strictly enforced. “If we see a kid on the street after curfew, we will ask where are you coming from. We’re going to call parents to confirm what they tell us, and give them a ride to make sure they get home safely. Otherwise, we’ll take them in and press charges for a curfew violation,” says Turner. “This is for their safety as well as everyone else. We want to make sure they’re going or coming from somewhere constructive.”
Just a reminder: children under 17 must be off the street from 11pm-6am Sunday-Thursday; and 12am-6am Friday-Saturday.
The community can provide feedback for this initiative via the CCPD Web site or call Community Affairs (770.473.3935). If you want CCPD to do education awareness talks, participate in any kind of program, establish an HOA, or for specialized patrols call the North Precinct (770.603.4070) or South Precinct (770.472.8065).