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FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007
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Decatur crime unit steps up fight against drugs
Arrests in first 3 months of year nearly equal total for all of 2007, chief says at meeting

By Chris Paschenko
chris@decaturdaily.com · 340-2442

Decatur organized crime officers have been working overtime the past three months, nearly equaling the total number of drug arrests and seizures from all of last year, police said.

The message is clear, Police Chief Ken Collier said Thursday during a community meeting.

“We’re going to fix problem areas to prevent crime,” he said, “and not make them friendly to criminals. Drugs are always an issue, and we’ve served 45 search warrants in three months. That’s a record.”

Sgt. Faron White, head of the Organized Crime Unit, said police served 56 drug warrants in all of 2006. White declined to discuss the reason for the increase, but said the warrants haven’t been served in one particular area.

“It’s been all over town,” White said. “We’re going to keep at it.”

Collier, along with his command staff, Mayor Don Kyle and Morgan County District Attorney Bob Burrell attended City Councilman Gary Hammon’s District 3 meeting at the Decatur Utilities auditorium.

Only 10 attend meeting

Only 10 residents attended, but those in attendance expressed concerns about speeding and the number of officers patrolling the streets.

Collier said every police unit is shorthanded but that will change as soon as 11 recruits who graduated Thursday from the state police academy in Anniston receive on-the-job training here.

“We’re excited to go ahead and get them on the street,” Collier said. “That will bring us closer to our 130.”

Resident John Journey requested help enforcing the speed limit at a frequent evening raceway known as Tammy Street Southwest.

“They’re speeding and running stop signs,” Journey said. “There was a four-car collision in front of my house. I was told to start a petition (for a speed table), but I don’t think that’s my job.”

Lt. Mike Woods, head of the Traffic Unit, said he would conduct a traffic assessment on Tammy Street to see if it meets speed-table criteria.

Police also plan to pay closer attention to Danville Road Southwest after another resident complained of early-morning speeders near Hartung Street.

Collier said one officer has written 25 to 30 speeding tickets on the southern end of Danville Road where the state recently widened it.

Collier said anyone wanting to report a problem or tip police to concerns should call 341-4636 (INFO) and leave a message.

Collier said a shift supervisor would return calls.

If you missed your chance to meet Decatur’s police chief and his staff, you can catch them at one of the remaining community meetings:

  • April 3 — Turner-Surles Community Center, 702 Sycamore St. N.W., 7 p.m., District 1.

  • April 5 — Decatur Baptist Church, 2527 Danville Road S.W., 6 p.m., District 5.

  • April 10 — Central United Methodist Church, 616 Jackson St. S.E., 6 p.m., District 2.

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