Public Safety

Published on August 16th, 2015 |


Neighborhood council hears crime updates, meets new prosecutor

Atlanta Police Zone 2 Commander Major Van Hobbs had a smile on his face as he provided a crime update to the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods Aug. 13, although some attending the meeting were concerned about recent home invasions, robberies and burglaries.

Major Van Hobbs talks to BCN meeting Aug. 13, In foreground, a smiling Ben Howard, president of the Buckhead Condo Alliance.

Major Van Hobbs talks to BCN meeting Aug. 13, In foreground, a smiling Ben Howard, president of the Buckhead Condo Alliance.

First, Major Hobbs was smiling because reports show major crime in Buckhead is down in all categories year-over-year except sexual assaults and some of those reports involve assaults that allegedly took place two to three years ago.

Second, the Zone 2 commander always flashes a smile when crime suspects are apprehended and he claims there has been success in that area, including the arrests of two suspects in the one or more of the home invasion crimes since the beginning of the year.

The third reason for his smile was the introduction of the relatively new Fulton County Community Prosecutor assigned to Zone 2, Elizabeth Morrow, who he praised for her tenacity in working to keep criminals, and especially repeat offenders, in jail.

In terms of the home invasion cases, Major Hobbs said those cases are now being handled by the feds and he has been told by those above him and the prosecutors working those cases he is to confine his comments to what has already been reported in the press.

“I do not look good in stripes and I am not going to federal prison,” he told those attending the BCN

Zone 2 Community Prosecutor Elizabeth Morrow talks to the BCN audience as Major Van Hobbs listens at right.

Zone 2 Community Prosecutor Elizabeth Morrow talks to the BCN audience as Major Van Hobbs listens at right.

meeting. So he did confirm that two suspects from Memphis are in custody and have plead not guilty to the charges against them.

One of the major crime problems is cars being broken into—that stat is up for the city but not in Zone 2.   Hobbs reminded Buckhead residents to remove items from view in their parked cars, to not leave keys in parked cars or leave cars running for quick stops like to pay for gas.

“While violent crime is down overall in Zone 2, we’ve seen an increase in car burglaries,” Hobbs said. He also said auto thefts are up 35 percent in the city overall, but only about 4 percent in Zone 2.

Hobbs told the small audience for the first meeting BCN meeting in three months that tag readers in some patrol cars are greatly helping in apprehending criminals, but also those who are violating minor laws. If you’ve stolen a car, have an expired tag or no insurance, new tag reader technology installed in some Atlanta Police patrol cars will know immediately.

Hobbs said the camera technology constantly scans motor vehicle licenses plates on the streets. If the car is reported stolen or has a violation, the patrolman behind the wheel is alerted instantly. Hobbs said similar tag readers have been installed in Buckhead Atlanta’s parking areas and will soon be at Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square malls

He was also asked about surveillance cameras in the Buckhead area—where they are located and whether or not they can be placed in neighborhoods. He told the group he prefers to have the cameras placed in locations where criminals are likely to enter or leave Buckhead because if their vehicle is caught on one of the cameras it is likely there will be a police car very close by.

Hobbs then turned the floor over to Community Prosecutor Morrow, praising her for relentlessly seeking to keep criminals in jail rather than letting them get bonded out and back on the streets.

Morrow said she always seeks incarceration for repeat offenders. She said she doesn’t mind telling judges, “your sentences are not working….they are ignoring it and are continuing to commit the same crimes.” She said the biggest thing is expressing how it affects the community.

She also said she is working on drafting a video surveillance ordinance to encourage businesses to install cameras. She said she is trying to get a grant to fund such a program.

Morrow is an assistant district attorney in the office of Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. and was named Zone 2 Community Prosecutor earlier this year. To contact her phone 404-816-3408 or email her at:

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    One Response to Neighborhood council hears crime updates, meets new prosecutor

    1. Concerned Citizen says:

      Any news on the attempted carjacking in Brookwood Hills last week? A perpetrator on foot tried to carjack a man in a Range Rover. The drive sped away and the perp shot at him, hitting the door frame.

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