I. Welcome & Introductions
BCN Chair Mary Norwood called the meeting to order. A BCN Board quorum was present. The meeting room was extremely crowded, with a number of people having to stand at the edges of the room. About 115 attendees attended, including speakers.
Twelve speakers made excellent presentations on a variety of topics related to improving public safety. The material covered is far too lengthy to be repeated or summarized in these minutes. An audio recording of the meeting was made.
a. Zone 2 – Current Status – Presented by Major Shaw, Zone 2 APD Commander
b. Fulton County Update – Presented by Robb Pitts, Fulton County Chair
c. City Update – Presented by Felicia Moore, City Council President
d. APD Zone Re-alignment – Presented by Dustin Hillis, Public Safety Chair
e. Zone 2 Prosecutor Update – Presented by Nemonie Nooks, Fulton County Asst DA
f. BCN Public Safety Resolution – Presented by Mary Norwood, BCN Chair
WHEREAS, an essential element in safeguarding every community is reducing citizen exposure to, and victimization by, crime;
WHEREAS, evidence demonstrates that a regular police presence, along with effective communication amongst stakeholders and community partners, aids in reducing threats to the safety of the public; and
WHEREAS, effective communications foster good public, private contact, which act to strengthen and help maintain services essential to ongoing public safety;
WHEREAS, the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods (BCN) from time‐to‐time shares general information with the community, and stakeholders at large, regarding criminal activity in areas where they have been or may be significantly impacted; and
WHEREAS, BCN supports efforts and initiatives to streamline complete information flow of arrested persons from the arresting officer, to the district attorney’s office, to the courts; and
WHEREAS, BCN supports initiatives, programs, and facilities that reduce the need for the incarceration of at‐risk youth, mentally ill and non‐violent drug offenders; and
WHEREAS, BCN supports drug abuse prevention, education, treatment, and community wellness programs; and
WHEREAS, BCN supports charitable outreach organizations that help those who are in need, who are without support and who have nowhere to go; and
WHEREAS, BCN supports the safeguarding of civil liberties and privacy of its citizens while ensuring public safety;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods supports the following:
1. Councilman JP Matzigkeit’s recommendations:
- Police officers ensuring that their reports contain detailed, complete and timely information
- Pretrial services presenting judges with comprehensive, accurate criminal histories
- Judges appropriately focusing on the threats that repeat offenders pose to the community
- District attorneys being prepared to present cases
- Police officers being adequately compensated for attendance at judicial proceedings
- Probation officers having manageable caseloads that allow them the ability to prioritize them based on offender danger to the community.
- Politicians providing resources and forums that foster successful and efficient operation of the criminal justice system
2. Judges to consider bond only after reviewing, detailed incident reports, and criminal history of the accused individual(s).
3. Atlanta Police Officers given comp time or adequate compensation on an hourly basis for the time they spend at the Fulton County Courthouse.
4. Commercial property and retail outlets having a safety plan consisting of, but not limited to, security assessments of safety, security guards or officers, and surveillance cameras.
5. A Public Safety campaign supported by BCN members to promote “Safe City Decals” provided to commercial establishments that have committed to a public safety plan.
6. District Attorney to eliminate the Complaint Room and have the City of Atlanta reinstate probable cause hearings in Municipal Court.
7. Use of the City of Atlanta City Jail to house arrestees until their probable cause hearing is completed in Municipal Court and then complete the sentencing for City of Atlanta violations or transfer to the County for State prosecutions.
8. Use the 72 Marietta Street Building that the City owns to provide the services that the Administration would like to provide.
9. Dedication of an appropriate attorney on the District Attorney’s staff to the prosecution of gang members under the Gang Statute.
10. The Fulton County Judicial Accountability Task Force a/k/a “Adopt a Judge” Program.
11. The adoption of procedures for Fulton County magistrates and judges designed to ensure that they have complete and detailed histories of Juvenile Repeat Offenders during any judicial processes.
12. GA House Bill 340 and GA Senate Bill 164 relating to the general provisions regarding bonds and recognizances, so as to revise provisions regarding when and under what circumstances persons accused of crimes may be released on their own recognizance and to provide for the types of security for bail.
Final ‐ March 13, 2019 3:00 PM
g. Recommendations – Presented by JP Matzigkeit, District 8 Councilman
h. Commercial Establishments – Presented by Valerie Sellers, BCN Public Safety Chair
i. HB 340 and SB 164 – Presented by Beth Beskin, BCN Legislative Liaison
j. Probable Cause Hearing Complaint Room – Presented by Ken Allen, former APD IBPO President
k. Discussion of BCN Public Safety Resolution – Led by Mary Norwood, BCN Chair
l. Petition and CCU Update – Presented by Amber Connor, Concerned Citizens United
m. Adopt-a-Judge – Presented by Taryn Bowman, Fulton County Judicial Watch
n. Q& A and discussion of Public Safety Resolution – Led by Mary Norwood, BCN Chair
III. Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the January BCN meeting were approved.
IV. BCN Motion – Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods to Partner with Trees Atlanta
Mary Norwood made the motion to have the BCN Board approve a motion to become a Trees Atlanta partner in supporting a new tree ordinance that requires the City to plant more trees, buy forested land, and save our existing tree canopy. The motion to approve the following document was approved.
Request for Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods to Partner with Trees Atlanta The City of Atlanta is currently in the process of rewriting and updating the Tree Protection Ordinance. This new ordinance likely will be voted on this coming summer. Trees Atlanta, along with its partners, is conducting a series of “conversations” in all four quadrants of the city to inform and empower neighbors to take an active role in the tree ordinance update process. The first discussion took place on the East side this past Tuesday night at the Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center, with well over a hundred people in attendance. Three more discussions are planned, with the meeting for the North quadrant tentatively scheduled for the evening of April 30 at the Atlanta History Center. At each meeting, community and non-profit presenters will address the need to strengthen the tree ordinance requirements as it pertains to planting more trees, buying forested land, and saving the existing canopy. The last 30 minutes will be devoted to signing letters to be sent to city commissioners, council members, and the Mayor supporting an improved tree ordinance. It is vital that we come together as a community to advocate for an improved tree ordinance that benefits our entire City. Trees Atlanta is requesting that The Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods “partner” with them in this city-wide effort to strengthen the Atlanta Tree Protection Ordinance.
To the left are the groups currently partnering with Trees Atlanta. Can we tell Trees Atlanta that the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods will be a partner, too? Also, Trees Atlanta would like your help in recruiting other organizations, including civic associations and NPUs, to partner with them in helping to improve the tree ordinance.
To become a Trees Atlanta partner in supporting a new tree ordinance that requires the City to plant more trees, buy forested land, and save our existing tree canopy, please email Trees Atlanta Co-Director Greg Levine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
V. Next Meeting – Tuesday, April 9 – Board Only
Attachments: PROPOSED Security Resolution