Published on August 11th, 2016 |1
APD Zone 2 Commander talks of ‘rough couple of weeks’ to business group
He talked about one of his officers who survived being shot by a perpetrator because he was wearing a protective vest, another set of officers who were shot at by a person holed-up in a building, an
innocent women victim who was caught in a crossfire outside a south Buckhead bar and the normal increase in burglaries, robberies, car break-ins and stolen vehicles.
But he also relayed to the breakfast meeting of Buckhead business leaders Thursday morning actions that the Atlanta Police Department has taken to better deal with the crime situation and to protect the city’s police officers, following the attacks on police officers across the country.
Hobbs said Atlanta Police Chief George Turner has put together a gun taskforce that now immediately takes over investigation of any case where there is a gun involved.
He told the audience that he has instituted a policy whereby there are two officers riding in every patrol car. He said response times to some calls may be a little slower than they have been in the past, but “officer safety is a top priority for me.”
Hobbs said, “I tell my officers, don’t come back from patrol with any more holes in your bodies than you came to work with.”
He also told the group that after five police officers were gunned down in Dallas last month, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has announced he plans to spend $1.9 million in public and private funds to equip most of the police department with new helmets and ballistic vests that would withstand the force of an AR-15 rifle shot.
Hobbs said the present vests the officers wear will stop a bullet from a revolver but not from an AR-15 rifle.
The city will invest $1 million into purchasing the vests, and Reed is counting on the Atlanta business community to contribute the rest.
Both the helmet and the vest would be Kevlar re-enforced. The vests would weight about 45 pounds and would be worn over the standard vests that officers wear daily.
As of right now, the equipment would go to about 1,500 police officers, as well as a set number of emergency responders, fire fighters and corrections officers.
Police Chief Turner said several officers — like those on the SWAT team and members of the Atlanta Proactive Enforcement Interdiction (A.P.E.X.) Unit — already have enhanced vests.
“We are keeping in lockstep with what is supposed to be the best equipment,” Turner said. “It is the appropriate thing to do as we change to fit a new a paradigm that we face in America.”
Hobbs also reported that he has been working closely with the Simon Properties management of both Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza malls following recent incidents at both retail locations. He praised the Simon management for their cooperation and efforts to increase security at the malls.
Hobbs said Simon Properties is placing license plate reader security cameras at every entrance and exit of both Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.
But Major Hobbs also told the business audience, “I have never been more proud of a community” than he has recently of the Zone 2 community. “It has fed my officers (bringing food by the precinct offices in Buckhead) since all the actions against police have been going on around the country.”
He said someone recently asked him if there was anything else they could do for the Zone 2 officers and he responded, “We need a treadmill” so the officers could work off some of the weight from
About the attack of the two sisters running at Chastain Park around 10 p.m. Wednesday, police said the women got separated and that is when a man attacked one of them, throwing her to the ground. The other sister then came upon them and fought and bit the man, who then ran away.
Police later caught the suspect at the Tuxedo Road and Tuxedo Court intersection. Police said the suspect, whose name has not been released, showed signs of the struggle.
The woman who was attacked suffered minor injuries. There was no sexual assault during the incident, nor was there a robbery.
At the same time, Atlanta Police issued a request for help in finding an armed robber of the GameStop store at 2625 Piedmont Road NE in Buckhead on Aug. 2. A video of the robbery can be viewed here.
According to a report, witnesses told police the suspect asked to buy two games and when the clerk was getting the change out of the register, the suspect pulled out a handgun and demanded the cash in the register. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477).
Hobbs’ visit at the Buckhead Business Association’s breakfast meeting was timely, since next Thursday (Aug. 18) the BBA will hold its annual Signature Luncheon at which there will be a panel discussion entitled “The State of Public Safety,” featuring the president of the Atlanta Police Foundation, the Atlanta police chief and other law enforcement professionals.
During the Signature Luncheon, the BBA will also present its annual Public Safety Awards to representatives of APD Zone 2, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department. Tickets to the luncheon can be purchased online. Click here for registration