February 2, 2016

More Active Shooter Education

In early January we published links to a video and crib notes regarding how civilians should respond to an active shooter situation. You can find a link to that post here

In general, the best course is to RUN and evacuate the building. If that is not possible, then the next best choice is to find a good place to HIDE. Finally, if running or hiding are not options and you are confronted with the shooter, you need to be prepared to FIGHT. In the parlance of the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) this is known as AVOID, DENY, DEFEND.

As a follow-up to that article, I want to share with you a unique situation I experienced on Sunday evening.
John Wolfinger and I were lucky to be included in an active shooter simulation at Lenox Square. This was a joint effort between Atlanta Police Department, Lenox Square, and Phipps Plaza. In three different scenarios APD officers searched for, engaged, and took down active shooters inside the mall.

Along with a host of other volunteers, John and I assumed the roles of civilians in the mall. Both of us were assigned as “runners”. This meant that our job was to exit the mall as quickly as possible while the shooter was still engaging targets and the police were entering the building and searching for the suspect(s).

Even in a simulated scenario there is danger. Officers were using simulation handguns, shotguns, etc. which fire non-lethal rounds. However, the noise is intense, and if you are accidentally hit by one of those rounds, it will leave a bruise. As a result, we were issued protective gear including helmets to protect eyes, etc.

The purpose of the exercise was to train APD officers, however, I learned something too. Though our role was to react realistically with screaming and panic, we were instructed on how to stay safe without hindering the officers responding to the scene. These are the four lessons that I want to share with you.

1)      When evacuating the scene, keep your hands raised so that in-coming officers will not view you as a threat. Don’t reach into your pockets, pull out your phone, etc.

2)      Follow all instructions issued by authorities. If they tell you to lay down on the ground, don’t ask questions, just do it.

3)      No matter how scared you are don’t grab at an officer or try to stop him.

4)      Understand that the responding officer’s first obligation is to disable the shooter(s) not to attend to the injured. Help will be coming as soon as it is safe.

If you are interested in learning more about civilian response in such situations, please consider attending one of the active shooter presentations being offered by the Atlanta Police Department and the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services. 

Attendees will learn strategies and plans for surviving an active shooter event. Also included will be information about the history and prevalence of active shooter events, the role of law enforcement, civilian response options, and a Q & A period.

Presentations will take place from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the following dates and locations. Please RSVP by sending an email to Atlantacops@atlantaga.gov two days before the session you would like to attend.

·         February 10, Adamsville Recreation Center, 3201 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive NW Atlanta 30311
·         February 24 Bessie Branham Recreation Center, 2051 Delano Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30317
·         March 9 Ben Hill Recreation Center, 2405 Fairburn Road SW Atlanta, GA 30331

·         March 16 Peachtree Hills Recreation Center, 308 Peachtree Hills Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

February 1, 2016

Report for January 2016 - Virginia Highland Security Patrol (FBAC)

The activity report is a summary of what our FBAC Patrol Officers do on their shifts

Directed Patrols:  21
Drop ins/Park and Walks:  24
Suspicious person:  4
Alarm Response:  5
Suspicious Vehicle:  2
Parking Complaints:  3
Noise Complaints:  0
Out of town Checks:  9
Abandoned Auto:  2
FBAC member Contact:  5
Lost Person:  0
Street Obstruction:  0
Wanted Persons:  1
Intoxicated Persons:  0
Found Property:  0
Criminal Trespass:  0
Info for Officers:  4
Shots Fired:  0
Calls for service (cell Phone):  5


News and Notes


FBAC Arrest


FBAC Officers arrested an individual this reporting period.  The subject was arrested by Sgt. Skeens after responding to a suspicious person call where a man was yelling and being verbally abusive to passersby.  Sgt. Skeens discovered the individual was wanted out of Fulton County on a probation violation.  The subject was arrested and transported to jail. 


Replacing and Removing FBAC Signs


This month John Wolfinger and Nancy Safay are continuing to tour the neighborhood to replace old style VH Patrol signs with the newer FBAC red and black signs. Please do not be alarmed if you see someone in your yard changing signs. John and Nancy are also installing signs in each member’s yard where there is not one, and making sure that signs are visible from the street.


Other Significant Incidents


Robbery Near 852 Arlington Place from Officers Narrative:


On January 17, 2016, I Officer C. Cooper was dispatched to Arlington Pl. NE in response to a pedestrian robbery. Upon arrival, he spoke to four victims. All of the victims stated that they had just left the Dark Horse Bar on N. Highland Ave walking down Arlington Pl. when they were approached and robbed at gunpoint by three black males wearing dark clothing. Victims stated that the black males placed guns to their heads and ordered them all to the ground saying "Give me what you have!"
Victims gave the suspects wallets with credit cards, ID, and cell phones. One victim also gave up home and car keys. All victims stated that when the males had all of their belongings in their possession, they told the victims "Turn around and walk back to where yawl came from." The victims stated that from that point they all ran back down Arlington Pl. onto Briarcliff Pl. and back onto N. Highland Ave. for help.
The suspects walked in the opposite direction. The victims stated that two or three of the suspects were armed with black handguns and were between the heights of 5'2- 6'3 and between the ages of 20-30 yrs. old. The victims also stated the suspects "were not dressed for the weather”, because they weren't wearing any jackets or coats. The victims can recall that one of suspects was wearing a beanie hat and all of them appeared to be clean shaven. The cell phones were unable to be tracked because they appeared to be off. However, credit cards were attempted to be used shortly after the incident occurred. Charges were declined on a card used at Bankhead Petroleum. Another victim was able to determine through online banking that suspects attempted to use her card, but the location was not known.


Robbery from Individual from Officers Narrative:


On January 19, 2016 I, Ofc. J. Palazzolo, responded to an address on Ponce De Leon Ave NE to an information call. Upon arrival the victim advised that he had $700.00 taken from him on January 13, 2016. He stated that he met a female, at Dreams Gentlemen's club a couple months ago and they became "friendly" and had been seeing each other. He stated he has been giving the female money for a couple months now to help her pay her bills. He stated that on Wednesday January 13 they were driving around looking at furniture for her apartment. He stated that she then asked him for $400.00 to which he said he did not want to give it to her this time. She then proceeded to call a couple of males who Victim stated sounded like "thugs" and they threated to harm him if he did not give her the money. He then drove to the Bank of America located at 956 Ponce De Leon Ave Ne and withdrew the $400. When he gave it to her she then stated that her friends needed "tip" money so he went and withdrew another $300. He gave her the money and she got out of the vehicle and took the keys to his house, (he lives in North Carolina), and she said she was going to go to his house this week and get more money from him. He also stated that she said if he didn't give her any more money that she would bring her friends to North Carolina and hurt him. Suspect drives an older model BMW sedan and lives in an apartment on Piedmont Ave Ne. He stated he does not know the address but it is close to I-85 and Peachtree St Ne. He has not heard from her since this incident. CID Inv.


Reminders: 


All members call 911 first if you see a crime in progress or a suspicious person or activity, and then call the FBAC Phone. The phone number is (770) 310-0871 and is also on the schedule that is emailed to you monthly.
If you see someone or something suspicious, please report it to the police.  When driving or out walking, keep an eye out in the neighborhood, what you see and report just might prevent a crime.


Note: Part one crime statistics from the Atlanta Police Department are available online and will be included in the VaHi Safety Team Reports which are distributed by Neighborhood Watch approximately twice per month. These statistics will no longer be duplicated here. If you have questions about this change, please send a message to vahisafety@gmail.com. If you do not know who your street captain is, please send a message to ebarrsafety@gmail.com with your name and street address, and Eleanor Barrineau will connect you.


January 31, 2016

FBAC Report for December, 2015- Virginia Highland Security Patrol (FBAC)

November 15, 2015 through December 30, 2015


The activity report is a summary of what our FBAC Patrol Officers do on their shifts

Directed Patrols:  18
Drop ins/Park and Walks:  22
Suspicious person:  7
Alarm Response:  6
Suspicious Vehicle:  5
Parking Complaints:  7
Noise Complaints:  2
Out of town Checks:  19
Abandoned Auto:  0
FBAC member Contact:  5
Lost Person:  0
Street Obstruction:  0
Wanted Persons:  0
Intoxicated Persons:  0
Found Property:  0
Criminal Trespass:  1
Info for Officers:  2
Shots Fired:  0
Calls for service (cell Phone):  4


News and Notes


Robbery 712 Maiden Lane from Officers Narrative:


On December 6, 2015 at 2:40 am, Officer Thompson was dispatched to 712 Maiden Lane, NE for a pedestrian robbery. The victim advised that she had parked her vehicle near 712 Maiden Ln NE. She left it and walked to the El Bar. Her friends dropped her off back at the car. A black car pulled up right after her friends left her and two males got out. One of the males told her to give him everything. She told the suspect no. The suspect hit her on her left side of her face with a handgun. The suspect then took her purse and they left in their car. Victim advised the male that struck her in the face was a black male with ''baby dreads" and a black t-shirt. She could not give any more description than this. All she could advise of the second male was that he was a black male. It is a very dark area where Victim was robbed at this time of the night. All she could describe of the vehicle was that it was a black vehicle. Victim advised that they left east bound on Maiden Ln. Victim’s purse was tan and gray with chevron stripes and tassels. It is made out of woven fabric. Inside her purse were her identification, a credit card, and her Apple iPhone. Victim gave us her login information for her Find My iPhone app. We tried to track the phone, but it was not tracking at that time.


Larceny from Vehicle/Aggravated Assault from Officers Narrative:


On December 23, 2015, Officer J. T. Thompson was dispatched to 1170 Virginia Ave NE to a larceny from vehicle that involved gun fire. Victim one advised he was walking out of his apartment with his friend Victim two. Victim one saw a black male in Victim two’s vehicle. Victim one saw the male turn and run with Victim two’s backpack. Victim one ran after the male. When he got to the side walk he saw a second black male. He believes the second male fired one shot out of a handgun in his direction. Victim one stopped giving chase. The males ran towards Briarcliff Rd NE. Neither Victim one nor two got a good look at the males. They could only describe suspects as black males wearing dark clothing. Victim one then found Victim two’s backpack. It had been dropped about 20 yards from the apartment driveway. Victim two advised that he parked his vehicle in the driveway of Victim one’s apartment building. He was inside the apartment for 5-10 minutes just to get his dog. Victim two advised that when they came out of the apartment he saw a black male in his vehicle stealing his black backpack. Victim two yelled at the suspect and the suspect ran. Victim two advised when Victim one rounded the driveway just out of his sight he heard one gun shot. Victim two did not see the second suspect and did not see the gunshot being fired, he only heard it. Victim two advised that he must have left his vehicle unlocked, because there was no forced entry to it. Nothing else was stolen out of the vehicle. He looked through his backpack and all of his belongings were still in the backpack. The backpack was a Swiss Army Mohawk back pack. Inside it was an Apple Macbook, his work computer, and $200 in cash. There were no complaints of injury. Several FIT units checked the area, but could not find any suspects. There are no cameras in the area and the inside of the vehicle was dusted for prints, but was none were found.


Larceny from Vehicle 816 N. Highland Av- From Officers Narrative (Arrest Made):


On December 30, 2015 at 12:25 am, Officer J. T. Thompson was dispatched to the area of N Highland Ave Ne and Los Angeles Ave NE on a suspicious vehicle. The witness advised that there was a white Ford Explorer circling the area. He advised he saw the vehicle drive through the area at least 3 times while he was parked at 1033 N Highland Ave NE (Hardware store at the corner of N Highland Ave Ne and Los Angeles Ave NE). Witness advised that there were 2 black males in the vehicle and that the vehicle was an older model Explorer with only one working headlight. Witness advised that he felt like the men were casing the area and were watching people walk to their cars.
When I was driving around the area looking out for this Explorer. I drove behind the bars at 816 N Highland Ave NE (Dark Horse Tavern). In the parking lot behind the Dark Horse on the opposite side of the parking lot, I saw a white Explorer with tan on the bottom backed in to a spot. The Explorer only had one working headlight. I saw a black male standing behind the Explorer (arrestee Mr. CAMPBELL, Justin). Mr. CAMPBELL was behind the Explorer, then went behind a white Suburban parked next to it then back behind the Explorer again.

There was a black male sitting in the passenger side of the Explorer. I saw him communicate to Mr. CAMPBELL. He then got out of the Explorer and walked to the rear of the Suburban. The two men then ducked down and walked South behind the other parked vehicles towards Greenwood Ave NE. I saw them stand back up at the corner and turn to walk West down Greenwood Ave NE. I pulled out onto the street and got out of the patrol vehicle. I told the men to stop. Mr. CAMPBELL stopped and walked back towards me. The other male kept walking. By the time I got close to Mr. CAMPBELL I lost sight of the other male.

Mr. CAMPBELL asked why I was stopping him. I told him I saw him behind a white Explorer and then saw him duck behind another vehicle. Mr. CAMPBELL advises that he was not ducking behind any vehicles. He advised he was looking for a place to eat. He advise when he got out of his vehicle a man in a white van told him that people's vehicles had been getting broken into so he should lock up. Mr. CAMPBELL advised he decided to put his hover board in the back of his SUV so nobody would see it. I told Mr. CAMPBELL I saw him standing behind a white Explorer. He advised that is the vehicle he was in, it belonged to his brother. I asked him why he left the headlights on when he left it (one was on when I saw it). He advised that they are automatic and they were probably already turned off. He advised we could go check it out if I wanted.

We walked back to his Explorer. When we got there I noticed that one of the windows had been busted out of the white Suburban parked next to his Explorer. The same one I saw Mr. CAMPBELL standing behind. I then detained Mr. CAMPBELL to further the investigation. He was detained at 12:39 am. Mr. Campbell's Explorer had Georgia tag QFD3295 and was 1997 model registered to Deonte Campbell, Arrestee Justin Campbell's brother. I noticed that even though Mr. Campbell had said he was trying to secure his hover board in the rear of the Explorer, the Explorer was left unlocked and the rear passenger side window was left down. I smelled the smell of raw Marijuana in the open window of the Explorer. The Suburban was white in color with Georgia tag CDA4796. It was also backed in to its parking spot so that the driver side of the Suburban was right next to the passenger side of Mr. CAMPBELL's Explorer. The glass that was broken on the Suburban was the driver side rear door window.

The Suburban belonged to victim who came back to his truck while we were still conducting our investigation. Victim advised that his luggage was missing from his Suburban and had a tag with his Father's name on it. He advised that the luggage was in the Explorer in question. I asked Victim to describe what was in his luggage. He advised his dress clothing that he wears when he played for his band and his black wingtip shoes. There were dress clothes in the luggage. The tag on the luggage had the name on it and there were wing tip dress shoes also in the Explorer like the ones that Victim described. I returned Victim’s property to him and he filled out a victim statement.
I called the original caller Witness and asked him if he could come to the location and see if this was the Explorer he had seen. He did return to the location and pointed out the Explorer in question and advised it looked just like the one he saw. He asked if it only had one working headlight, and it did. He showed me a picture of the Explorer that he had seen when he called 911. It shows the back of an Explorer, white with tan bottom just like Mr. CAMPBELL's truck. Witness advised he would email me the picture and then he filled out a witness statement.

I searched the Explorer looking for the source of the Marijuana smell. There was a black and grey MCM backpack in the backseat of the Explorer. Inside the backpack was some black NIKE shoes, Mr. CAMPBELL's Georgia identification card, and raw marijuana in a baggy that would later be weighed at 3.5 grams. The backpack was entered into property as property and Marijuana was entered in as evidence.

There was a David's Bridal box addressed to another potential victim.  I had no way of contacting individual. Inside the box was a dress labeled as "strpls stn alne drop". It was placed in property as evidence. There was a blue "Smart" hover board. There were no serial number or UPC codes on it. It was entered in as evidence. There was a black backpack with no brand on it. It had clothing inside. It was entered into evidence. There was a black OGIO backpack with an XBOX ONE inside it. It was entered into evidence. All of these things were entered in as evidence since we did not know who they belonged to.

The only things Mr. Campbell could describe as being in the back of his truck was a Hover board and his MCM backpack. He admitted under Miranda that he knew the MCM backpack had his identification and some Marijuana in it. Everything else was entered as evidence since he could not describe it and other stolen property was found in the rear of the truck.

Sgt. Skeens unit 4307x came to the incident location and helped with the investigation. He read Miranda rights to Mr. CAMPBELL he would later question Campbell at the zone 6 precinct. Mr. Campbell advised that the other black male that walked away was a Mr. Ken or Kenny with last name Harris or Harold. He advised Ken was 22 or 23 years old. He advised that Ken is always at the West End Mall on a hover board. He described Ken as being around 6'00'' tall with a high right low left hair style with a part in the middle. He advised that Ken's phone number is in his phone, but we did not have permission to get it out of his phone, we would have to get a warrant to do so. Mr. CAMPBELL's phone was entered as evidence. Mr. CAMPBELL advised that he himself had nothing to do with the stolen luggage found in his truck. He advised he had nothing to do with the broken glass on the Suburban. He would not however directly indicate "Ken".

Mr. Campbell was charged with Entering Auto 16-8-18; Theft by Taking 16-8-2; Possession of Marijuana less than an ounce 16-13-30J2; Criminal Trespass 16-7-21 (for breaking the window); Prowling 16-11-36 (for the suspicious behavior behind the vehicles in the parking lot). Mr. Campbell also had a warrant confirmed by ACIC. It was for probation violation in relation to charges of Marijuana possession and possession of firearm during commission of a felony. The warrant was out of Fulton County with warrant number 12SC114018 and date of warrant 12/9/15.
W
hen I searched Mr. Campbell's pockets incident to arrest on scene he was found to have the keys to the Explorer and $195.00 on his person. His girlfriend came to the location to take possession of the money with Mr. CAMPBELL's permission. While there she kept asking to take possession of the items in the Explorer. I asked if she could describe anything in the Explorer. She advised only a hover board. I told her the contents were a part of the investigation and she could not take possession of the contents or the vehicle since it was not registered to anyone on scene. While the wrecker was on scene it separated me and the Girlfriend. She went to the explorer while I was trying to walk around the wrecker. She opened the door and started trying to grab things. I walked up to her and took a phone charger out of her hand and advised her if she did not leave the Explorer alone she would be arrested for obstructing our investigation. She then decided to leave the location.

NOTE: This case is the perfect example of “see something, say something” in action. Mr. Campbell would not have been arrested except for the call from an observant individual who saw suspicious behavior and alert police via a 911 call.


Replacing and Removing FBAC Signs


During January FBAC volunteers will be touring the neighborhood to replace old style VH Patrol signs with the newer FBAC red and black signs. Also, in a few cases members have moved and left signs behind where new residents have not joined. These signs will be removed. Patrols in other neighborhoods police their signs quite rigorously, but we have not done so in the past. However, it does assist the patrol to see the signs and know which homes participate in the program and are current. Please do not be alarmed if you see someone in your yard changing signs, and if you are a member but have not picked up a yard sign, please stop by John Wolfinger’s front porch and get one. John is at 1054 Vance Avenue.


New City of Atlanta Mass Notification System


The city has launched NotifyATL, a new mass notification system to keep residents and visitors safe and informed in the event of an emergency. Find more information and register at this link. www.atlantaga.gov/notifyatl


Reminders: 


All members call 911 first if you see a crime in progress or a suspicious person or activity, and then call the FBAC Phone. The phone number is (770) 310-0871 and is also on the schedule that is emailed to you monthly.
If you see someone or something suspicious please report it to the police.  When driving or out walking keep an eye out in the neighborhood, what you see and report just might prevent a crime.


Note: Part one crime statistics from the Atlanta Police Department are available online and will be distributed via the VaHi Safety Team Reports which are distributed by Neighborhood Watch approximately twice per month. These statistics will no longer be duplicated here. If you have questions about this change, please send a message to vahisafety@gmail.com. If you do not know who your street captain is, please send a message to ebarrsafety@gmail.com with your name and street address, and Eleanor Barrineau will connect you.