Posts Tagged ‘Decatur Police Department’

Here’s a little something to get you in the holiday spirit: a video of Decatur kids singing “Jingle Bells” during their visit to the Decatur Police this week.

The children and their parents carol and deliver treats to the police department and fire stations every December to thank police officers and firefighters for their service to Decatur. Kavarna provided hot chocolate to the carolers and Atlantic Limo donated a bus to transport them around town. Mom Kristin Ebersold said, “We’re so lucky to have such competent & welcoming fire and police departments and generous local business owners.”

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robber with santas bag

Sgt. Jennifer Ross with the Decatur Police Department sends along the following:

To burglars, the holiday season in particular, means that your home generally has more things to steal. Not a very joyful thought, but an unfortunate reality. You can choose to be paranoid and add to the stress of the holiday season or take the time to throw up a few more roadblocks to annoy or discourage potential burglars and then relax and enjoy yourself.

I found my dad to be the hardest person to buy for when I reached the age to actually go pick out gifts myself. I wish there had been home improvement store gift cards, light timers, motion sensor lights, higher end deadbolts, window pegs and recommendations to change out 6” screws for the standard 2” screws in lock strike plates and door hinges back in the day because it would have provided great gift options for my paranoid dad who also liked projects around the house. So maybe you can give the gift of safety to someone in your home or just take care of a few things yourself and celebrate the holidays with a little more peace of mind.

Here are a few tips to think about concerning YOUR home for the holidays. Remember to make safety a habit and not a headache!

  • Burglars do not want to spend more than a few minutes breaking into your home so lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed.  Even if it is for a short period of time, secure your home. USE THE DEADBOLT LOCKS, NOT JUST THE DOORKNOB LOCKS. Doorknob locks are easy to bypass.
  • Fortify your home by installing heavy duty locks, longer screws in the lock strike plates and door hinges, and install secondary security devices on all accessible sliding windows. This makes it harder to force in a door and requires a burglar spend more time making noise or looking for an alternate way in.
  • Trim back bushes and trees that provide burglars with concealment and keep police and neighbors from seeing someone lurking on your property.
  • If you have a burglar alarm, use it every time you leave your home, even if just for a few minutes.
  • Make your home look occupied when you are not there. Burglars do not like light.  Use motion sensor lights on the exterior and light timers on the interior.  If you are headed out of town, ask a neighbor to park one of their cars in your driveway.  Submit an “Out of Town House Check” and officers will check on your home while you are away.

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An important message from Sgt. Jennifer S. Ross, Community Information & Education Officer for the City of Decatur Police Department: 

packageWe have received several reports of package thefts from doorsteps in the past few days.

On Tuesday, 12-3rd packages were stolen from the doorsteps of two units at Talley Street Lofts. At one of the units, two packages were stolen and six were left behind with one of the six having been opened. (Delivered at approximately 2:30pm and discovered missing at 6pm)

On Thursday, 12-5th packages were stolen from the doorstep of a residence in the 200 block of Lansdowne Avenue. (Delivered at approximately 1:50pm and discovered missing at 4pm)

On Thursday, 12-5th a package was stolen from the doorstep of a unit at Talley Street Lofts, and two other packages were left behind. (Delivered at approximately 12pm and discovered missing at 7:30pm)

The stolen packages contained electronics, clothing, accessories and household items.  All of the stolen packages were delivered by UPS.

I know one of the biggest reasons many of us shop online is the convenience of having what we ordered shipped directly to us but unfortunately thieves use our timesaving efforts as a way to do a little “shopping” of their own, especially during the holiday season.  I have yet to recover the case of “Kind Bars” I ordered a few months back, in an effort to save a little money with a bulk sale price and free shipping, that sprouted feet and sent me on a personal investigation that lasted weeks and ended in me having $50.00 less than when I started and no Kind Bars.  Since parcel bandits are trying to intervene in our holiday fun, here are some tips to help prevent package thefts.

  • If possible, ship your packages to your work location or a location where you know someone will be there to receive the package such as the home of a friend or loved one who you know is home during the day.
  • Request that a signature be required to deliver the package.
  • Track your packages and ask a family member, friend or neighbor to look out and take the packages in when they arrive.
  • If you live at a location that requires passcode or keycard entry, do not let people you do not know tag-a-long behind you and enter the property.  If they are aggressive, do not confront them, call police immediately and provide a detailed description of the person, what they are wearing and where they were last seen.
  • If you observe people you do not recognize on a neighbor’s property, pay attention and if it appears they are removing packages, call police immediately and provide the same descriptive information and also watch to see if the person goes back to a vehicle and provide a description of the vehicle and their direction of travel.
  • Keep an eye out in your neighborhood for vehicles that appear to be following delivery trucks and stopping at locations where the delivery trucks just made a delivery.

Also, UPS offers an option to schedule your deliveries and receive an alert by voice, email or text message notifying you the day before your package will be delivered.  You can then reroute or reschedule the delivery if you need to do so.  Go to http://www.ups.com/mychoice/ to check out this option.

Another option is to have the package rerouted to a UPS Store. The store will hold the package until the consumer can go and pick it up.  Consumers can always change the delivery address on UPS.com or by calling 1-800-PICK-UPS.  Consumers can also request “signature required service” and UPS drivers will not deliver the package until they receive an adult signature.

If you are using a different shipping company, find out what options are available for a more secure delivery.  Monitor and inventory your deliveries and don’t assume your packages were sent in separate shipments.  In two of the three recent cases, some packages were stolen while some were left behind.

The non-emergency number for the Decatur Police Department is 404-373-6551.

(If you see my runaway case of Kind Bars cruising the city, let me know.)

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More holiday safety tips from Sgt. Ross:

fraud is not festive

The next topic in our Holiday Safety Series covers tips for online shopping.  Most of us are already busier than we should be without adding holiday shopping to the endless list of things we need “to-do”.  I don’t like considering holiday shopping a chore because that diminishes the very purpose of why I am shopping in the first place.  I try to make most of my holiday shopping a chance to spend time with friends, grab a bite, catch up and take care of our shopping lists.  However, I usually end up online trying to find a certain item, like the Spiderman shoes with illuminated eyes that arrived today for my 4-year-old Godson, and I know the risks.  I have been the victim of identity fraud twice in six years but the convenience of online shopping outweighs any paranoia I may have.  It is simply a way of life for many of us so just follow a few tips to try to reduce your risk.

  • Before surfing the Internet, secure your personal computers by updating your security software. Everyone’s computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam software, as well as a good firewall installed.
  • Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock at the bottom of the screen or “https” in the URL address.
  • Shop with companies you know and trust. Check for background information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company.
  • Do not click on pop-up ads for surveys, prize offers or anti-virus alerts. This is a common way for your personal information to be grabbed or your computer to be infected.
  • After you have made your purchase, check your billing statements to monitor transactions: Immediately report any discrepancy to your bank

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“Learn from a trained professional whose delivery style is nonstop, relevant and entertaining. He delivers the common sense approach to the unwelcome encounter! Become aware – identify the situation and plan how to remove yourself [escape] using readily available distraction tools.” – Beryl B. Farris, Immigration Attorney

The Decatur Police Department will be hosting a “Self-Protection Workshop” on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Decatur Recreation Center (231 Sycamore Street, Decatur, GA 30030). Teens ages 13-17 are welcome to attend this workshop with a parent/guardian.

This workshop is designed to teach you how to be proactive, maintain awareness and be decisive during a violent confrontation. In the workshop, the presenter will cover:

  • Behavioral Profiling – Situational Awareness – Personal Security vs. Self-Defense
  • Mindset – Conditions of Readiness – Warning & Danger Signs of an Attack
  • Simple & Effective Self-Defense Techniques – Improvised weapons

The presenter of the workshop, Steven Mosley, has over two decades of law enforcement work experience and currently works locally for the Department of Homeland Security.  Steven is also the Director of Training for the Combat Hard Training Center in Jonesboro.

“When I was looking for someone to help my wife and I with dealing with some of the challenges that come up in our work in the course of our ministry with people who are sometimes unpredictable and violent and dealing with dicey situations in general I was pretty thorough in my vetting process because I was looking for someone who would give us a better chance of living through the real situations we face.  We need something that works.  I asked SWAT officers that I know from various police departments, veteran officers, GBI officers, and state troopers.  Steven’s name kept coming up, I called him, and found both a solid teacher, mentor, and friend.  I can’t recommend him highly enough.” – Nathan Dean, Co-Pastor, Edgewood Church

The “Self-Protection Workshop” is a lecture presentation and NOT a physical self-defense class. Informational flyers on self-defense classes through the Combat Hard Training Center will be available after the workshop.

Click here to register for the seminar or contact Sgt. Jennifer Ross at 678-553-6613.

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Sgt. Jennifer Ross with the Decatur Police Department shares the latest in a series of safety tips:

Snowy view on East Lake Drive, Winter 2011

Dashing through the snow…safely

 The next topic in our Holiday Safety Series addresses driving to your destination whether it be across town for a dinner party or a much longer journey to spend time with your loved ones.  My childhood holiday travel memories are of 2-5 hours (depending on which set of grandparents we were going to see) in the back of a car, that I swear had no seatbelts, while engaged in sibling warfare over the true center line of the backseat and who was in violation.  Looking back, I do not know how my parents safely made it anywhere with my brother and I in tow.  I recall thinking my father’s preparation ritual for holiday road trips was overly dramatic as it seemed like we were mobilizing for a road trip to Alaska instead of south Georgia or North Carolina.  I now understand that this was his way to keep his family safe and reduce the stress that comes with holiday travel so we could all enjoy ourselves.  Always following some basic safety tips whether driving short or long distances, investing a little bit of time to prepare for an emergency and being patient will get you where you are going safely and in better spirits.  Remember to make safety a habit and not a headache!

–          Before you start your trip, make sure your vehicle is tuned up and in good shape for travel, especially your tires (don’t forget the spare).  This is even more important for winter driving conditions.  If you are weary of your vehicle’s current condition and think it needs some work, rent a vehicle for a road trip.  You will be safer, less stressed and it can be a treat to have a newer, different or larger vehicle for travel.

–          Wear your seatbelt and make sure all of your passengers are wearing their seatbelt or secured in a car seat or booster seat appropriate for their size.  Unrestrained passengers are more likely to be injured and become a projectile to other passengers in a crash.

–          Keep your speed down. Give yourself plenty of time and distance to react to the traffic around you. Let impatient and aggressive drivers pass you or go ahead of you so that you control the situation.

–          If there will be drinking at your holiday get-together, choose a designated driver who will remain alcohol free, grab a cab or stay where you are.

–          Make sure you have a roadside emergency kit, you can buy a fancy one already put together or create your own.  Basic items for your kit: jumper cables, flares, extra fuses, flashlight w/extra batteries, first aid kit, tire inflator (such as a Fix-A-Flat), tire pressure gauge, basic tools (flat & Phillips head screwdriver, pliers, adjustable wrench), duct tape, blanket, bottled water and energy bars.  Make sure your cell phone is charged and that you bring your charger for the trip.

–          Be patient and stay fresh & alert when driving.  Your trip will be safer and more enjoyable if you are not in a rush and not exhausted before you even get started.  Whomever you are going to visit would rather you arrive a little later than for you to be in a crash.


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Sgt. Ross shares the following:

On Friday, November 22, 2013, Girl Scout Troop #10562 met with Inv. Hall and Sgt. Ross to learn about the duties of investigators and how fingerprints are processed in order to earn their “Detective Badge”.  These young ladies then did a great job of lifting fingerprints.  Congratulations on earning your new badge!

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Here are a few holiday shopping safety tips from Sgt. Jennifer Ross of the Decatur Police Department:

  • Be alert and aware! It’s easy to be distracted by the crowds, selecting the right gift, being preoccupied with holiday activities.
  • Keep shopping bags, valuables, purses, and wallets close to you. Keep purses or bags closed.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason and watch out for friendly strangers. They may ask a question or offer to assist you with your bags to distract you or put you in a compromising situation.  At this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
  • Stay alert while you are walking to your car. Talking or texting on your phone or digging in your purse for your keys while walking is a distraction and makes you an easy target.
Police officers on the Decatur Square.Photo credit: Cheryl Burnette

Police officers on the Decatur Square.
Photo credit: Cheryl Burnette

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Sgt. Jennifer Ross, Community Information & Education Officer with the City of Decatur Police Department, shares the following information:

Free 1-hour “Street Smarts Seminar” will be held at the Decatur Recreation Center on November 20th

Please join us for a comprehensive 1-hour presentation from The National Crime Prevention Task Force to learn the answers to these questions and more:

  • How can your security system be disarmed?
  • How can a criminal obtain a key to your home?
  • What should you do if approached by someone in a parking lot?
  • How do criminals get access to your office during working hours?
  • What makes you an attractive target to a criminal?
  • What two things make women an easy and attractive target?
  • What should you do if a stranger gets in your car?
  • Where do most carjackings take place?
  • What is the biggest mistake we make while shopping?
  • Holiday tips to reduce crime to you and your home

All of the highly trained instructors at The National Crime Prevention Task Force are crime prevention specialists, who receive continuous training and constantly research and evaluate current crime trends. Their research assists them in developing the best and most effective crime prevention tactics and procedures applicable to today’s lifestyle, and in eliminating outdated tactics that could prove to be dangerous in today’s world.

National Crime Prevention Task Force’s Street Smart Seminar is designed to educate in areas relating to crime prevention, personal safety and awareness. Seminar topics include:

  • Educate you on the most recent crimes, cons, scams and methods of victimization used by today’s criminal, by delving into the criminal’s thought process and informing you as to how and why the criminal selects his or her targets, teaching you the signs and situations to look out for during your daily travels. 
  • Raise your awareness level by discussing some of the common mistakes that we tend to make during our day to day business that make us desirable targets to the criminal. 
  • Teach you preventative methods and techniques related to personal safety and awareness to implement in your everyday life in order to make yourself a less attractive target to a criminal predator. 
  • Instruct you on some simple things that you can do around your own home or apartment relating to existing locks, lights, and security systems as preventative measures against crimes such as burglaries or home invasions. 

Representatives from the Decatur Police Department will be in attendance.

When:        Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Where:       The Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore Street, Decatur, GA 30030

Cost:           FREE, but a reservation is required.

Who:          This seminar is open to the public but restricted to adults, 18-years-old and up. 

***To make a reservation, please call 678/553-6613 or email Sgt. Jennifer Ross at jennifer.ross@decaturga.com.

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Congratulations to Officer Deborah Strawn who was presented with the Thomas O. Davis Award at last night’s Decatur Business Association meeting!

Officer Deborah Strawn

Decatur’s Thomas O. Davis Award honors a public employee who has helped strengthen the bond between government and the community, served as a role model for others in public service, contributed to the well-being of the community, inspired others to get involved in public service, and served the public with respect. The award is named for Decatur’s long-time city attorney.

Officer Strawn, who has worked with the City of Decatur Police Department for 25 years, was honored for her service and commitment to her job and the community. Strawn supervises the School Crossing Guards, is in charge of the Evidence Room, and works most of our special events. It is a pleasure to work with someone as dedicated as Deborah Strawn.

City Employees with Ms. Strawn

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