Study findings prompt Dunwoody residents to ask for more police

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Dunwoody leaders want more police officers on the street after newly released statistics show 25 percent of 911 calls in the city do not get an immediate response. The calls instead get prioritized according to urgency.

"Wow," said Dunwoody City Council member Terry Nalls. "That was my first reaction."

Other stats, supplied by the department, show the number of calls handled by Dunwoody police in 2012 is up 77 percent over 2011. Nalls said the number of calls nearly overwhelms their 46 sworn officers.

"I was amazed at how busy the officers were on any given day, on any given shift, anytime of the day, and how much we're asking them to do," said Nalls after a recent police ride along.

The stats also show violent crime is way down, 48 percent from 2011, but property crime is up 21.6 percent. And one memo from the police to council members states they project the overall crime rate will increase 13 percent this year.

Dunwoody has a permanent population of about 48,000 people, but during the day when workers and shoppers arrive, Nalls said that number swells to 115,000. Nalls wants more officers to help manage those numbers and get involved in more proactive policing.

"We have the best of the best, and we want to retain them," said Nalls. "But we need more of them. I was amazed at how."

Nalls and others say they found about $277,000 to hire four new police officers. It's part of a five-year plan to increase the size of the department. Council will vote on the new budget on Oct. 29.

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