Report from District 8 Neighborhood Presidents Meeting
Posted on Aug 28th, 2019

August 26, 2019
Attended by Anna Mayeske, President-Elect of PBA
Highlights from Major Shaw of APD:
- Since Zone 2 lost two beats (without a reduction in the number of Zone 2 officers) and Zone 6 gained those two beats, our crime, particularly in the area of car break-ins, has reduced while Zone 6 has increased dramatically.  
- Due to the pay increase for the police force, the sworn force is up 7%, from 1,663 officers to 1,774.  We are still short and definitely need at least 200 more.
- Zone 2 continues to have vehicle break-ins, with 139 handguns stolen out of cars, and just last week- 11 handguns stolen from vehicles, more than the entire year so far.  You simply cannot leave anything in your cars.  These criminals are professionals and they will keep returning, "like a regular fishing hole" as one neighborhood president described it.
- Zone 2 continues to have cars stolen, with some 80% of the vehicles stolen with the keys in the car.
- Be careful leaving your car with valets.  One valet may take your keys and put your car in a line of vehicles while the other valet is running the cars back to the lot- cars are being stolen while they wait (empty with keys inside) in these lines, watch your car before you go inside.
- Private citizens' security camera systems are appreciated by the APD. Please consider installing a system.
- The LPRs (license plate readers) have been extremely beneficial in fighting crime, as well as video cameras.  If a neighborhood would like to add an LPR or a camera, JP's office will pay 50% and the neighborhood raises the rest.  The police foundation can help neighborhoods determine where to place a new LPR or camera, as well as which type to select for that area.
Highlights from our council member, JP Matzigkeit:
- As JP asked every attendee to introduce themselves and mention their most urgent areas of concern, the majority of presidents expressed concern on increase of traffic and speeding in their neighborhoods.
- JP had representatives from area schools, Lovett and Westminster, talk about how they are helping to reduce traffic.  Westminster has had a volunteer shuttle all over Atlanta, bringing kids to school for close to 30 years.  The organization is strong and well managed.  Lovett has started a bus program this year and has seen a significant reduction of cars coming to and from school.  They have also installed LPRs which they say has been very useful in speeding up carpool lines.  Both schools, and hopefully others, are working diligently to reduce the number of cars (students, faculty and staff) coming to and from school.
- JP is hoping to work with Piedmont Hospital to do similar work to reduce the amount of cars coming in and out of the hospital, as the intersections and roads are (as we know) extremely congested nearby.
- There was a question from the Springlake neighborhood president about where we are on a traffic light at McKinley and Northside Drive.  JP is in conversation with GDOT, and reminded us that Northside is not a city street, it is controlled by GDOT.  But it is not in GDOT's wheelhouse to have concerns of pedestrian traffic, etc.  Their goal is to move traffic through as quickly as possible.  So it is going to take time to get them to understand our issues on Northside Drive around Bobby Jones and Memorial Park, but JP said he is continuing the discussion.
- Please keep up with the tree ordinance re-write, it is important work and our feedback is needed.