The goal of every police chief is, or should be, to have the ability to say at the end of a year that their community is better off than it was the year before. Thanks to the hard work of the men and women that I work with, I get to do that today as I present to you our annual report for 2014 (view/download below). I do not have the words to express my gratitude to the officers of this agency for all that they do to make and keep Tyrone, Georgia one of the safest communities in the nation!
Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the data contained in this document.
By now you are no doubt aware of the Cobb County couple who are missing after traveling to South Georgia to meet someone in reference to a car they found listed on Craigslist. No one knows exactly what went wrong at this point, but we can only speculate that their disappearance was related to the ad. That being said, I wanted to take a moment to remind our citizens to use extreme caution when meeting unknown persons - especially where money or goods will potentially change hands - that you come across online.
The internet is a very dangerous place and sites like Craigslist offer those with nefarious goals direct access to thousands of potential victims. While most of the ads posted on these sites are real and pose no harm, the threat is also real and cannot be overlooked. Consequently, if you must do business online that will ultimately require you to meet unknown individuals, please:
We stop a lot of cars. In fact, our officers made approximately 8,000 traffic stops in 2014 that resulted in 8,097 enforcement actions. Our citizens and the rest of the motoring public see us out there stopping all of these cars and wonder what we're up to - some even suspect that we are out there for the sole purpose of generating revenue for the Town. So what IS up with all of the traffic stops?
Make no mistake - the citations we write DO result in revenue for the Town when the driver pays their fine. That money goes into the general fund and is eventually spread out among all Town departments as operating funds at budget time. However, revenue is far from our number one reason for aggressive traffic enforcement (Learn more about the speed trap law and how we stack up here).
We operate under the proven understanding that the high visibility created by traffic enforcement reduces crime because "crime often involves the use of motor vehicles" (1). This is part of the Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) concept as established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Institute of Justice, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance and based on several real-world studies. Due to the historically sporadic nature of criminal activity in Tyrone - we do not have traditional "hot spots" like other cities - we operate under a modified version of the DDACTS concept where we treat the entire jurisdiction as a potential (emphasis on potential is important) high crime area and require our officers to aggressively enforce traffic laws wherever they may be on patrol. We also constantly monitor criminal activity by location and are prepared to deploy officers for directed enforcement and patrol at any time.
The results of our subscription to this concept are measurable and impressive:
Another major benefit of aggressive traffic enforcement is our low number of accidents involving serious injuries and deaths...
At no time are our officers required to issue a given number of citations and their performance evaluation in traffic enforcement is only based on how many stops they make - NOT on how many citations they issue. This discretion results in a very high number of warnings issued by our officers. In fact, only 23% of our enforcement actions were citations in 2014.
We are very proud of our tradition of being a pro-active police department and we celebrate the results of the past three years of hard work on the part of our officers. It is exciting for all of us to know that Tyrone is one of the THE safest cities in Metro Atlanta when it comes to crime AND traffic safety!