New unit cracking down on crime in DeKalb County

by: Ryan Young Updated:

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb police believe a newly formed intelligence hub is making a huge dent in crime.

Within the next few days the program will be spread across the county.

The architect of the new program is the county's new police chief.

DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander told Channel 2's Ryan Young that his officers believe 6 percent of people in DeKalb are responsible for a bulk of the crime and he has a plan in place to get them off the streets.

"We're going to reduce crime," Alexander said. "We're on our way to doing that. It is a battle. It's a fight for us every day."

Alexander told Young he is working with his officers to provide more community interaction and faster reaction to crimes in DeKalb County by creating an intelligence group inside the police department with a crime target.

"Six percent of repeat offenders that we know of, that have long criminal histories that are back out here in the community and committing robberies and committing other types of heinous crimes, we're going after them," Alexander said.

The new unit has made 30 arrests of mostly felony suspects in the last 30 days.

"So much information is given out at community meetings, neighborhood watches, and so what this does, we're the hub, we're the belly button for information to come to. We're able to help the city of Conyers out on a robbery suspect, we assist the city of Chamblee with three murder suspects," said Major Bryan Harris of the DeKalb County Police Department.

In one case the unit tracked down Lavunte Collins, known as the Craigslist robber. Detectives said on six occasions he stuck a gun in victims' faces to steal what they were selling on Craigslist.

"They were getting robbed so we looked at the reports, quickly, and within about three days we identified the pattern and we identified the suspect within two weeks we had him in custody and closed out all six cases," Harris said.

The team will now start to incorporate the rest of DeKalb County in their coverage area.

"We go out (and) we seek that 6 percent of those who commit over 50 percent of the crimes in this community," Alexander said.

The effort has been going on for about 30 days. Alexander said he hopes it will lead the community to talk more and be able to make more arrests.



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