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VaHi Safety Team Report

June 11, 2019

Table of Contents

AFR Member Injured in the Line of Duty

On Sunday May 12th a member of Atlanta Fire Rescue was seriously injured while responding to an accident on 75/85 near Cleveland Road. A speeding car hit the fire truck as Sgt. Darrow Harden was exiting. He lost his left leg and his right leg was severely injured. A GoFundMe account has been established to assist Sgt. Harden in his recovery. You can read more about the incident in this AJC article

This is a good time to talk about highway safety. Many don’t know what to do when they hear lights and sirens behind them. At our May NPU-F meeting Battalion Chief Dwayne Johnson advised that we should pull to the right as soon as it is safe to do so and stop your vehicle. Let the vehicle go past you, then proceed. When approaching an accident or vehicle on the side of the highway, move over one lane to create a buffer between the stopped vehicle and moving traffic. This creates a margin of safety for drivers, police officers and those rendering assistance to move on the shoulder of the highway. This is not only common sense, it's the law.

  • Georgia’s Move Over Law says motorists travelling in the lane adjacent to the shoulder must move-over one lane when emergency and utility vehicles are stopped on the side of the highway and operating in an official capacity. Vehicles included in the law include all first responders (law enforcement, fire, EMS), utility vehicles, DOT vehicles, HERO Units and wreckers tending to an accident. The law is meant to keep officers, victimes and traffic violators safe from crashes with passing cars. [source: governor's office of highway safety]
  • The Move Over Law was passed in the aftermath of growing numbers of police, emergency technicians and DOT workers being killed during routine traffic stops, crash responses and highway construction projects around the nation. Right now, more than thirty states have Move Over Laws on the books, with fines that range as high as a thousand dollars or more in some jurisdictions. The Move Over fine in Georgia can be up to $500. [source: governor's office of highway safety]

Finally, remember to use lights and replace wipers frequently so you can see clearly.

Home Security Improvement Contractors

From time to time the VaHi Safety Team receives messages from people looking to upgrade the security of their home. Typically they are looking for someone to do small projects like install outside motion sensor lights, replace exterior doors with a sturdier door and/or locks, or install video cameras, video doorbells, etc.

We recently reached out via Nextdoor to see if residents had companies or individuals they would like to recommend for these types of jobs. Here is what we have heard back so far. 
  • I can highly recommend Jason Williams (for running security cameras, home security systems, Audio video systems in the home and back yard, etc.): Jason Williams Williams Audio Video and Security (Waves) 404-483-1834 For reinforcing doors, Duncan Cottrell 770-720-6269 Both are very professional and do excellent work.
  • Matthew McCaffrey I can do any type of light or electric installations - been doing electrical work full-time for almost four (4) years now. Quality work. Very reasonable prices. Thank you. Matt 617-470-8432
  • I got licensed electrician Scott Spinner (770) 621-0569 from this board a few years ago and been using him regularly since. He does fantastic work & good for many of these jobs (probably not reinforcing doors, though).
The safety team is not endorsing any of these individuals, but these neighbor recommendations give you a starting point of people to contact for estimates. If you have others to add to the list, please email that information and we will update in the next report. 

MLPA Special Safety Meeting

On Monday June 10th the Morningside Lenox Park Association (MLPA) held a meeting for their residents about safety. They talked about MLPA efforts to reduce crime in Morningside, the successful fundraising for License Plate Reader (LPR) cameras for the neighborhood, and the new Clean Car Campaign for Morningside Village. Special guests included the new commander from Zone 6, Major Vazquez along with Major Shaw from Zone 2.

the Morningside neighborhood has recently completed a fund raising campaign to pay for new license plate readers that will be used by Atlanta Police Department. These devices, combined with software, are able to track a license plate for which a BOLO has been issued, and are quite effective in those instances where a witness or a video camera has captured a license plate number at the scene of a crime. MLPA raised enough funds from residents and business owners to install 5 additional cameras over the next few months. The price on these cameras has dropped from $15,000 to $10,700 which allowed them to purchase one additional unit from what they had planned. 

More than 10,000 license plate reader (LPR) and Tilt, Zoom, Pan video cameras form the Atlanta Police Department's surveillance network across the city as a part of Operation Shield. This initiative is supported by the Atlanta Police Foundation. Cameras, are effective in identifying and prosecuting suspects after the fact. Last year, for example, the network of LPRs was instrumental in the arrest of the suspects in a car-jacking in Ansley park. Ansley now has seven LPRs in their neighborhood. 

At this time Virginia-Highland has nine Tilt, Zoom, Pan video cameras, but no License Plate Readers. 

Fulton County CourtWatch

Last week residents had the opportunity to participate in Fulton County's CourtWatch training. For those that attended and those who missed this session, here is a brief recap from Fulton Government TV (FGTV). For more information about CourtWatch, contact me (your Zone 6 representative to the CourtWatch Advisory Board) to learn how you can be involved.

Juvenile Court Looking for New Citizen Review Panel Volunteers

Fulton County Juvenile Court is hosting a training session for new volunteers for its Citizen Review Panel. The CRP works with volunteers to conduct legally mandated reviews of the status and welfare of children placed by Juvenile Court in the legal custody of Fulton DFCS, with the goal of ensuring reasonable efforts are being made to reunify the family or otherwise provide permanency for the child. Residents who possess a desire to make a difference in the lives of children and families are strongly encouraged to attend.

The training sessions will take place on June 25 and June 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day in room 1132 at the Romae T. Powell Juvenile Justice Center located at 395 Pryor Street SW, Atlanta 30312. Both sessions are required.
To register, call 404-613-4667 or email Nicole Jenkins. You can also download a Citizen Review Panel Volunteer Application.The deadline for applications is June 17.

Crime Statistics

May 2019    
  Beat 601      Zone 6
Aggravated Assault 0 20
Auto Theft 4 49
Burglary Non-residential 1 11
Burglary Residential 1 26
Larceny from vehicle 22 199
Larceny Non-vehicle 3 131
Murder 0 1
Rape 0 0
Robbery Commercial 0 3
Robbery Pedestrian 0 9
Robbery Residential 0 0

Vehicles were entered on Adair, Amsterdam (3), Arlington, Elmwood, Lanier, N. Highland (4), Ponce de Leon Ave (7), Rosedale Dr, Rosedale Road (2), and Virginia Circle
If you are a resident and not connected with your street captain, please send a message to to be introduced.

If you are not a resident but would like to be added to the distribution for these reports, please send a message to me at with your name, email address, and affiliation. Thanks.
Stay Safe!
Kay Stephenson
Copyright © 2019 Virginia-Highland Safety Team, All rights reserved.