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East Metro DeKalb CID launches public safety initiative

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Law enforcement professionals are leading new targeted patrols of commercial properties located in one of DeKalb County’s busiest commercial corridors. Public safety patrols conducted by off-duty DeKalb County Police officers launched in the East Metro DeKalb Community Improvement District (CID) during the first week of July. Coverage will initially focus on Wesley Chapel Road and Panola Road.

Officers will work staggered shifts over multiple days, primarily during the overnight hours. Patrols will be tailored to watch for property crimes and other types of incidents that occur most often.

Sgt. Susan V. Sowell, who will lead the patrols, said CID property owners can contact DeKalb’s East Precinct to report areas of concerns.

“I will use a variety of enforcement options, such as high-visibility patrols, the operation of speed detection devices, safety checks and foot patrols,” Sowell said. “The officers will operate in the targeted areas during certain peak hours of crime. The areas will be identified by analytical data, lookouts and persons of interest, provided by the crime analysis.”

CID Administrator Nicole McGhee Hall of Nickel Works Consulting said the added security is the first phase of public safety-focused plans for the commercial community. Additional resources may be considered as well as expanded coverage areas.

“Increasing public safety is a key component of the CID’s commitment to making this a more economically attractive environment,” Hall said. “We are pleased to have these brave men and women provide their law enforcement expertise to keep commercial properties and their owners, employees and clients safe. We expect to see an immediate positive impact from the presence of these officers throughout the CID.”

As part of their safety services, officers will generate patrol reports detailing their experiences for the benefit of CID leaders. These insights will allow the CID to reach out to commercial property owners and business leaders to advise them of concerns and trends. Additionally, an officer will provide an overall safety update as part of the CID’s regular Board of Directors meetings.

The East Metro DeKalb CID formed in 2014 through a unanimous vote of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. CID membership is growing, increasing the revenues to leverage more project funding. The CID accounts for more than 205 commercial property owners.