THE PENS DISPATCH
From the Criminal Investigations Unit at PCT 4 PENS Police Email Notification System
MONTHLY EDITION - JULY 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the July edition of THE PENS DISPATCH. This bulletin is brought to you from the Cobb County Police, Precinct 4 Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU4) and is designed to keep you aware of safety alerts and crime trends in your area and measures you can take to keep you and your family safe.
It is hard to believe how quickly the summer has passed. Criminal activity in precinct four has reduced thanks to the hard work of the officers and detectives who dedicate their lives to public safety. Since May 1 of this year, we have had 32 reports of residential burglaries, which is a reduction of more than 43 percent from 2017. Business burglaries did increase by one since May; however, we arrested three juveniles who are suspected in a rash of burglaries in the metro area. The occurrences of vehicle break-ins has been down slightly from 107 last year from May to July, to 101 so far this summer. We want to continue the downward trend, so please continue to lock your vehicles at night and remove valuables. The Cobb County Police Department is dedicated to reminding you of these easy measures you can take to safeguard your property with their 9 o’clock reminder. Follow the Cobb County Police Department on Instagram and you will be reminded each night to:
- Lock all doors (even back doors and porch doors)
- Leave exterior lights on (they deter loitering and burglars)
- Pull your car in the garage, if possible, and remove your valuables, LOCK, and CLOSE the garage door (just because your car is in a garage, doesn’t mean it is secure).
- Bring all items of value indoors (lawn decorations, toys, etc.).
- Bring in mail (it has your information on it and is sought by those who want to steal your identity).
- Set your alarms before bed (burglars do not like audible alarms).
This initiative is called #9pmReminder. Hopefully, it will assist in reducing crime through reminding all of us to protect our valuables.
PUBLIC SAFETY TOPIC OF THE MONTH
Recently, we had a rash of vehicle break-ins and no items of value were taken from the vehicles. It is still essential to call the police to report any criminal activity. We are finding suspects may not be looking to steal valuables, but steal information. An incident in Nashville, Tennessee recently revealed suspects were breaking into cars to take photos of documents with the owner’s identity on them. These photos were then sold on the black market for identity theft. Always report if you believe your vehicle or home has been entered by an unknown individual.
July has been a deadly month for the Cobb County Police Department, Remembering our fallen.
Every July, I think about two critical incidents that impacted the Cobb County Police Department and our community. On July 13, 1993, Officer Robbie Ingram was patrolling the Elizabeth District of Precinct One. Officer Ingram was aware of recent criminal activity in that area and, as a good officer does, he was zone patrolling looking for anything suspicious. Officer Ingram observed a male dressed in all black. As Officer Ingram approached the suspicious person, the subject pulled a gun on Officer Ingram, immediately firing on the officer. Officer Ingram was shot and killed and left in a grassy field as his patrol car was stolen. I was a new graduate from Walton High School when this occurred and remember the news coverage very well. Officer Ingram was the first Cobb County Police Officer killed in the line of duty by gun fire. His death rippled through our community. The following day, George Russell Henry, was found and arrested for the murder of Officer Ingram. Twenty-Five years later, Officer Ingram is still remembered as a good young officer, who had a great personality and strong character. He was a military veteran, a graduate of Sprayberry High School, and a newlywed at the time of his death. He was 24 years old. Officer Ingram was a part of our family and this community and his life is one to be honored and remembered.
Tragically, six years later, Cobb County had another incident that resulted in the death of two police officers. July 23, 1999, Sergeant Steve Reeves and Officer Stephen Gilner were serving on the Cobb County Police SWAT team and about to enter a home where Greg Smith was hold up. Smith had shot a Cobb County Police Officer earlier in the afternoon, which led to the SWAT team preparing to make a tactical entry to arrest Smith. As the SWAT team entered the home, Smith opened fire. Sergeant Reeves was shot immediately and went down. Officer Gilner made entry to assist his fallen teammate and was also fatally shot. Sergeant Reeves and Officer Gilner’s deaths were a gut-punch to our department. I remember, because I was working the night of their death as an officer in South Cobb, where this incident took place. I attended the funeral and memorial service for these fallen heroes. Both Sergeant Reeves and Officer Gilner assisted in training my academy class in officer survival. They took the training seriously and if you were not on your toes, they would make you pay. I remember vividly Officer Gilner picking me up and slamming me into dry wall during a scenario. I heard a click. He was able to take my gun from my holster and fire it (it was a training gun). Officer Gilner gave me pointers and critiqued my performance. His advice has kept me safe as an officer for 20 years now.
Officer Gilner was 32 years old at the time of his death. He was married and had a 22-month old daughter. Sergeant Reeves was 35 years old and was married and had two teenaged sons at the time of his death.
I wanted to remind those who subscribe to our PENS Dispatch of these heroes we lost while wearing a Cobb County Police uniform. They lived tremendous lives and died as heroes. They must not be forgotten. It also must not be forgotten, there are young men and women patrolling the streets 24-hours a day. These officers are the finest trained officers and well prepared to handle extremely difficult situations. They may not always be perfect, but they will get the job done for the safety of our community and citizens. I have had 20-years with a front-row seat to how amazing these officers are day in and day out. Please keep them in your thoughts and appreciate their service.
STAY UP TO DATE WITH CRITICAL INFORMATION
Cobb Department of Public Safety staff is working to enhance the delivery of near real-time information to residents about incidents that may have significant and/or imminent impacts on their safety or welfare. DPS has implemented the SwiftReach Swift911 notification system to distribute these types of alerts.
SwiftReach is a high-speed emergency notification system that alerts residents to emergency situations including severe weather, missing and endangered persons or significant road closures due to fatality accidents or other unplanned incidents in the local area. The program has the capability of delivering pre-recorded messages to the entire county via telephone, cell phone, email and text messaging. The system uses a publicly-available list of phone numbers that can be removed or updated by both residents and businesses.
There are two simple options to opt-in and provide contact information for this service. A sign up portal is available on the Police, Fire, EMA and Public Safety pages on the Cobb County website. Residents can also get the Swift911 Mobile App by texting the word “Swift911” to “99538.” The response text will be a link for the Swift 911 app in the app store. SwiftReach is another example of using current technology to ensure residents receive vital information from the Department of Public Safety. For more information, visit the Department of Public Safety page at www.cobbcounty.org and click on the SwiftReach icon.
Everyone can sign up for PENS alerts and monthly bulletins.
Send an email to our administrative specialist, Teresa Hayes, to request to be a PENS Representative. Teresa.Hayes@cobbcounty.org
PENS is now working in coordination with Nextdoor.com to reach out to more of the East Cobb Community. You will receive our monthly bulletins and other immediate crime trends with the direct communication between us and your neighborhoods. Sign up at Nextdoor.com
On July 9th, Officer Sikking was on patrol when he observed a vehicle run a stop sign. Officer Sikking initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver, a 22-year-old white male, was acting nervous and sweating. Officer Sikking summoned a K9 officer to walk around the vehicle. K9 Officer Aries and his handler Officer Rickerson responded and did an open-air sweep of the vehicle. Aries alerted for the presence of drugs, which gave officers probable cause to search driver’s vehicle. The vehicle search resulted in more than 9-ounces of marijuana, which was packaged for distribution. The driver was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. The following day, a search warrant was secured for the driver’s home, which is off Lower Roswell Road. Officers from Precinct 4 secured the residence and began searching. The officers found an additional 9-ounces of marijuana and a large amount of cash. They also located THC oil and Xanax pills. Officers took a 19-year-old white male into custody based on their findings in the home.
This was a great job by Officer Sikking, Officer Rickerson and K9 Aries and all involved.
Thanks for your participation.
Remain Safe and Vigilant!