Police moving from 4 to 5 patrol zones

Fri, 03/07/2008 - 3:57pm
By: John Munford

Also may participate with sheriff’s Drug Task Force

The Peachtree City Police Department is planning to divide the city into five patrol zones in lieu of the current four-zone system.

The goal, Acting Chief Mike DuPree told the City Council last week, is to increase response times, which averages just over 6 minutes. The five-zone system would also increase proactive patrol time, the amount of officer on foot patrols in residential areas and shopping centers, and also increase officer visibility, officials said.

Response time and proactive patrol time have been significantly impacted by increased calls received by police, traffic congestion and retail development along Ga. highways 54 and 74, police said.

Last year officers averaged 2.7 hours of proactive patrol time during a 10-hour shift, down from 3.7 hours in 2005, DuPree said.

The system will be implemented by Jan. 1 after a series of progressive benchmarks are met, DuPree said.

Currently on any given shift there are five corporals or officers on patrol along with a lieutenant and sergeant, DuPree said.

Though the department is not asking for any new patrol officers in the coming year’s budget, it will eventually need a crime analyst to evaluate patterns in crimes to help improve in the strategic placement of officers to respond to crime trends, DuPree said.

DuPree also said one of the department’s main goals is to begin working with the Drug Task Force operated by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. He said police have spoken with candidates for the sheriff’s position and that two of them said the sheriff's department would focus more resources on local drug cases.

Currently under long-serving Sheriff Randall Johnson, DTF has worked a mix of local and regional cases, with the emphasis on regional cases deemed necessary to get bigger drug dealers and traffickers in an effort to stop the flow of drugs throughout metro Atlanta, which also keeps them from coming to Fayette, sheriff’s officials have said.

Participating with the sheriff’s DTF will have to be a decision ultimately made by the new chief of police, DuPree said.

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Submitted by CI5835 on Mon, 03/10/2008 - 5:49pm.

Does the PTCPD have the manpower, technical resouces, ability to run undercover drug operations apart from the FCDTF? I never hear about the PD busting local dealers, only child predators...

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yardman5508's picture
Submitted by yardman5508 on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 7:45pm.

that the PTC Police do not patrol at-large, but actually work in individual districts? And they feel they get better coverage and more efficient use of resources that way? How can that be? Keep the faith.

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Submitted by IMNSHO on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 8:48pm.

How can zones *not* provide "better coverage and more efficient use of resources"? Would it be more efficient to have them all "at-large" with no plan at all, thereby not insuring that there is regularly an officer available to you within an average of 6 minutes?

I don't know of any agencies of a similar size that does not have zones (aka "districts." In Fayette County, only Tyrone and the Marshalls don't have them (and they're not the aforementioned similar size). In the big cities, not only do they have zones, each zone has it's own station, and within the zone, officers have their own "beats".

Apparently, contrary to your belief, zones do provide "better coverage and more efficient use of resources."

By the way, the fire department also has zones. Do you think that is inefficient, also?

yardman5508's picture
Submitted by yardman5508 on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 8:53pm.

I was merely spending my evening looking for parallels. Keep the faith.

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Submitted by IMNSHO on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 8:54pm.

Sorry, I'm not following you. What do you mean?

yardman5508's picture
Submitted by yardman5508 on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 9:05pm.

lack of sleep has made me punchy. I am sorry for the weirdness. Keep the faith.

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Submitted by IMNSHO on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 2:06pm.

[strong]The goal...is to increase response times, which averages just over 6 minutes.[/strong]

I'm pretty sure he meant to "decrease" response times, as in make them shorter, not "increase" times, making them longer.

Currently PTC is divided into 4 zones, and any "zone" officer can be dispatched on a call in another zone, if that zone's assigned officer is busy. This works well, and adding another zone makes sense.

An average 6 minute response time is something that those who live in unincorporated Fayette County can only dream of right now. The Sheriff's Dept has an average 13 minute response time... more than double that of PCPD. That PCPD wants to decrease their average even more is AWESOME, and will be much appreciated by most citizens.

The businesses in PTC should be extra appreciative of the attentiveness of the PCPD. Most other agencies in the county only do drive-by patrols. PCPD actually gets out of their vehicles and checks for unsecured doors.

PTC residents who go out of town can request the officers to do house-checks of their residence while they are gone. This means that the officer will actually get out of his vehicle and look around, making sure everything is secure. Each time he does that, it is logged, so a resident can come back and check-up on the frequency, if they so choose. Only in PTC is that possible. Other agencies in the county, while they may do house-checks, don't keep track of them, so who really knows?

PCPD is not the best agency in the country. But in a county of good agencies (to include FCSO and FPD and TPD), they are really good, and we should all be appreciative of their efforts to serve the citizens better.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 2:16pm.

"PCPD is not the best agency in the country. But in a county of good agencies (to include FCSO and FPD and TPD), they are really good, and we should all be appreciative of their efforts to serve the citizens better."

I have lived many, many places, and the patrol officers in the PTCPD outshine all others I've come across. These guys and ladies are awesome. We have priceless first responders. They are part of the reason we live here!

Kevin "Hack" King

Submitted by IMNSHO on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 8:39pm.

We really don't disagree. Because I have experienced them to be the best. I only said they aren't to forestall someone coming on here citing all their faults, citing agencies that may have been recognized as being the best, etc.

Submitted by skyspy on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 6:25am.

Finally we have someone at the helm of PTC police that sees the wisdom in working together with the Sheriffs dept.

Good job on more cart path patrols also. Thanks for putting the citizens first Major DuPree.

Submitted by mol91387 on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 2:42am.

This is insane, as if this town needs more police around the area to harass teenagers and young adults on golf carts. The last thing we need in Peachtree City is more police patrolling all areas. As someone who has lived in this town for nearly twenty years I have had many run ins with the police, more than necessary. Every run in has consisted of the police having no reason for a pull over and trying to find something that wasn't there.I can also say that I have never received a ticket nor have I been arrested. It is insane to think that the law enforcement here does not have anything better to do. In no way am I saying that the law enforcement here is unnecessary, but I believe there are certain officers that need to focus on other things. It is something that needs to be addressed in this town and no one will step up.Clearly this town is not perfect but this the police actually focusing on things other than teens may help.

TinCan's picture
Submitted by TinCan on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 3:53pm.

I too have been here for 20 years and have yet to have a run in with police. Of course, I generally follow the laws so that may have something to do with it.

Submitted by IMNSHO on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 1:49pm.

I've also been in this city for nearly twenty years, yet I have had very few "run-ins" with the police. When I have had interaction with them (being pulled over, or calling them, or in an accident), my experience has been nothing but positive and professional.

Just because they pulled you over and didn't give you a ticket doesn't mean they pulled you over without reason. They give alot of warnings, and we should be appreciative of that, not complaining!

I would like to see them "harassing" the teens and young adults on golf carts MORE. Maybe that would make the teens think twice about how they drive them, and how they act while on them. I'm on the paths (on foot and on golfcart) almost every day, and it is rare to see well-behaved teen golfcart drivers/passengers. I won't even let my own teens ride on golfcarts with their friends, because there seems to be something about it that makes even the good kids go a little crazy.

Hoosier Fan's picture
Submitted by Hoosier Fan on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 2:13pm.

Teens are teens and it's part of their young DNA to do stupid things while out of sight of their parents. It's not just a PTC thing.

I walk the paths regularly and often need to take evasive action to prevent being hit by kids goofing around. A few days ago while walking north along Flat Creek Road, I observed a high school boy and his girl friend traveling south on the path, full tilt, wrestling over the steering wheel forcing pedestrians off the path to avoid being hit.

If the teens cannot drive responsibly on a cart (or car), the minimum drving age needs to be increased. Therefore, I look forward to increased PTC Police visibility on the cart paths.

Submitted by sageadvice on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 3:48pm.

Age has little to do with it!
Training does.
By parents and schools. Cept schools elected to drop driver's education for a small fee.
Speed is the primary culprit, at least the times I have almost been run over has been. I drive very defensively or would have been hit many times.
Adults tend to not speed but refuse to make any room to pass---they own all there is of the path!

walker3's picture
Submitted by walker3 on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 7:41am.

I haven't lived here as long as you (8 years) but I disagree with your view.

I walk every morning with my dog and have witnessed 2 drug deals "going down" on the paths. Young people, after school should have started. These random encounters have both been in the past 6 months.

I also have a middle schooler who nearly everytime we are out, is pointing out 13 and 14 year-old 8th graders driving golf carts without adult supervision.

I reserve the right to change my mind if the police start harassing folks.

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