DeKalb County

DeKalb police officers awarded for heroism amid officer shortages in department

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga — Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Mark Winne recently spoke exclusively with three DeKalb County police officers about their heroism and hard work.

Special victims unit detective Gregory Moore, Officer Deandre Brown and officer Kimberly James all won awards as the county deals with a list of issues, including a severe workforce shortage and recruiting.

DeKalb police chief confirms to Channel 2 that the department’s staffing is down roughly 25 percent from the budgeted number of officers. Still, these three officers prove how officers are going above and beyond to get the job done.

“I don’t get paid by the stop or arrest. That’s not what I do it for. I do it because I love doing it,” officer Deandre Brown said.

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Chief Mirtha V. Ramos, Chief of Police, said these types of awards are important, especially important now, as the department faces a dramatic staffing crisis. It is down more than 200 officers from its authorized strength of 798. The chief acknowledged the stories behind the awards are important for morale, public confidence, and attracting recruits.

“They should always be acknowledged for what they do,” Ramos said.

Brown says he was humbled to win the International Association of Chiefs Police in the prevention of vehicle crimes award after handling more than 2,000 calls last year. The calls led to leading to drug seizures and the arrest of a murder suspect, among other things.

“I believe it was fate that iI was in the area and I was so close,” James said.

Chief Ramos says officer James won a 300 club of Atlanta award for her bravery after she organized a group of civilians holding a wrecked vehicle up to pull an accident victim to safety.

“It gives me joy to be able to help someone through something that they’re going through,” James said.

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“I feel like I have a calling for it,” Brown said.

When speaking to Channel 2, each of these officers seemed to make a point of saying good things about co-workers.

The chief says DeKalb police uses a recent pay raise for the rank and file, triple overtime, and enhanced community relations to do more with less.

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