Monday, July 21, 2014

An Arguement Why Some Want To Become a City

The question was asked; Why does Pine Lake have a police force?

And one persons answer is.........

The net cost to us is roughly $130,000. The city takes in about $175,000 in traffic fines annually — a figure that has been declining by double-digits for the last few years, even accounting for the dramatic pullback in fines in 2001. Our court administration costs about $100,000 a year, leaving $75,000 to offset the cost of policing.

The net present value of a $130,000 annual expenditure is roughly $2.6 million at current interest rates. That implies that eliminating police would reduce taxes sufficiently to increase aggregate property values in the city by $2.6 million.

Only, it wouldn’t. Comparable properties near Pine Lake are valued an average of about $35,000 less. Some of that can be attributed to the special nature of the city — a close-knit hippie community surrounded by the highest ratio of public parkland to overall acreage in Georgia. Some of it might be due to local planning and zoning control. But I suggest half of that can be attributed to having a police officer no more than 90 seconds from your door in an emergency. Pine Lake’s crime rate is puny, even though we’re in the middle of DeKalb County.

That $35,000 average increase in value translates into a tax digest about $6 million higher than the comparable par.

There are other reasons, too. For example, about 25-30 percent of Pine Lake’s households are gay, lesbian or bisexual. There’s added value in having a police department that can be expected to manage LGBT public safety issues with sensitivity. Also, the county’s response to property crime and code enforcement in unincorporated commercial areas near us has been … unsatisfactory … or so business owners tell us. Basically, the county cops don’t respond without significant provocation. We think the police may serve as an economic development tool as a result, if used correctly to protect property owners instead of as a ticket-issuing machine.

Copied from The Peach Pundit

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whooppee

Anonymous said...

George, Does the Pine Lake police department still go home at night leaving DKPD to" protect property owners" ? The Pine Lake police may be "90 seconds from your door in an emergency" but it's mostly DKPD that solves your emergency. But speaking of that 90 seconds; does that include the Pine Lake officers in city police cars constantly hanging out and working off duty for the Pin Ups strip club/owner. Which PL officer was terminated from DKPD? Gosh darn it, sometimes a future PL officer has better things to do than respond to a carjacking across the parking lot. George "basically" DKPD does almost all the policing in Pine Lake because; 1) the backgrounds of the PL police make testifying kind of dicey, 2) the lack of training, equipment and experience of the PL police, 3) the lack of PL police 4) pick from the 15 other reasons. Pine Lake receives more in police services from DKPD than it contributes via taxes. I've NEVER needed a "significant provocation" to do my job and serve my community. But in their previous police job most of the PL police needed constant "provocation". It's why they are now a City of Pine Lake employee.



Anonymous said...

There is no perfect city to be form, remember politics always leads to corruption sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

I know from professional experience that many cases requiring investigation in Pine Lake are handled by DKPD detectives, as Pine Lake has none.

George Chidi said...

I'm George Chidi, the author of the Pine Lake police comment. I'm a city councilman there. I'm also a writer, and I happen to be the author of the Vernon Jones-Clorox piece from Peach Pundit running two posts above this one.

I stand behind my comments and take responsibility for what I say, which is why I write with my name attached to posts instead of anonymously. People can follow up with me directly if I misspeak, to keep me honest. When I err, I offer correction. Credibility matters to me.

I'm replying here because an anonymous poster -- July 21, 2014 at 11:47 p.m. -- is suggesting that we have police officers hanging out at strip clubs in a Pine Lake police vehicle. I heard a report about something like that online earlier this year. I inquired about it and I was told this happened some years back and is not a current issue. If you have information that contradicts that, feel free to call me. (My number is in the book.)

It was not my intent to malign the county police, but I know what I've heard and I've recounted it honestly. The public in this county precinct does not view the police as particularly responsive. I recognize the constraints the county police have been operating under -- morale issues, a widening pay gap, weird Vernon Jones leadership overhang in the command ranks -- none of which makes my assertion untrue.

Nor does any of that change the fundamental financial calculus of operating our city police department. It's insanely expensive, but losing it would cause insane property value destruction.

No, the city does not receive more in police services than it contributes in taxes. Quite the opposite, since we pay about 75 percent of the county's police tax on top of our own costs, and since our police are available for response to the nearby unincorporated community as backup to the county, per our reciprocal agreement. The assertion that DKPD "does almost all of the policing in Pine Lake" requires a questionably narrow definition of policing as a result.

I'll refrain from arguing the rest of your response, simply because it's not appropriate to discuss personnel issues in a public forum.

I will happily debate the matter further ... but only with someone who has the courage to identify them self. Credibility matters.

Anonymous said...

DKPD better start finding new jobs your county is going bankrupt, pretty soon you will be called candler rd PD

Anonymous said...

Come on, are we really being compared to Pine Lake? No, cities that argue for incorporation can best be described as the kid that doesn't like the rules or another kid playing the game so they get mad and take their ball home. Each of these incorporated municipalities are not cities, they're not even close. Atlanta is a city. Decatur is as close to being a city as anyone. But Pine Lake? Stone Mountain? Dunwoody!? Brookhaven? They're playing pretend. At the end of the day the only thing they have now that they didn't have before is more politicians and a police force. And often times the only place they can really invest in their police force is basic uniformed patrol. Which is all well and good, but what happens when you need an air unit? For some agencies what happens when you need a K9? What happens when there's a murder? What happens when you need a crime scene processed? What happens when you need animal control? What about SWAT? In almost every case involving something other than a misdemeanor these smaller agencies are not equipped to handle it themselves, and they therefore have to end up calling on the county to help or to fix it anyway.

These people aren't being economical, they're being selfish. Where was J Max Davis and the whole new Brookhaven city council on the DEKALB ballots? You see a problem with current government, you see a problem with the politicians, run for office! If your car is broke you get it fixed you don't run out and buy a new smaller one. We never hear these political voices until they can call the self "Mayor" or "councilman" of something. They want to feel powerful, that's all. Every move for incorporation has been fueled or at least started for by a desire to see a better community, but for ego. I'll gamble on that statement.

Stay Safe. Stay Together. Stay DKPD.
-OfficerZero

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Officer Zero, you are so full of it. Name a time when Dunwoody PD has asked for help. They have a partnership in North Metro SWAT with Sandy Springs and Johns Creek,the best officers and equipment in the state.

Face it, when they formed a police department in 2009 they interviewed a lot of DKPD officers. A very small percentage could get through the screening process. Sour grapes and just untrue...Officer Zero IQ.

Anonymous said...

Yes Mr. Chidi, your officers stand nightly at the door of PinUps and protect the dirty dealings that go on within. DeKalb County raided the place a while back and your officer was at the door in uniform. They rotate between you guys and Clarkston officers.

Anonymous said...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFun9krNvoU This was captured a couple yrs ago but the officers are still seen there.
There is zero evidence that having two or three person police department for the subdivision of Pine Lake has anything to do with property values. There is no link.
DKPD does NOT ask Pine Lake PD to handle calls outside of Pine Lake. We have asked if they would handle calls inside of Pine Lake. And no you do NOT understand the "constraints" we operate under. We deal with our problems in a transparent manner and we take the appropriate measures. Typically politicians (your a politician) tint that transparency for their own reasons.

Anonymous said...

You'll forgive me, I hope, if I take criticism about transparency with a grain of salt when it's offered by posters concealing their own identity. The next time I seek genuine, straightforward on-the-record comments from any police officer not named Mekka Parish, I'll remember this pledge of "transparency."

The claim that Pine Lake PD doesn't respond to incidents outside of the city limits is demonstrably false, given the murder of a liquor store owner on our city's border late last year. And the argument that there's no link between having a police force and property values is belied by real estate records. Show me your counter-evidence, and we'll talk about it more.

As it happens, I'm learning that Pine Lake police do appear to be conducting some off-duty security at this club. I'm not sure if that's within our city's code or not, and whether or not this is an acceptable tradeoff for fielding a police force at the salary we offer. We're about to have a discussion.

I went out to Pinups this weekend after seeing comments here. I found no Pine Lake PD vehicles, which was a relief. I did run into an off-duty DeKalb police officer, though, who also appeared to be conducting security at the club.

Interesting times. I've asked for an open records request from DeKalb Police for the history of incident reports at the club. I expect to write about this in detail at Peach Pundit, shortly. I confess that this is about to become an interesting management problem, but I'm grateful for the information.

I've heard more than one police officer give me the "walk a mile in my shoes" line when writing about police issues. And I realize the political class around here has been letting you all down. Well, I'm new. I took office six months ago. Public safety matters to me -- I wouldn't bother posting replies here if it didn't. I ask, humbly, for folks to reserve judgment until you can see if you'd make different decisions given the same responsibilities. Thanks.

George Chidi

Anonymous said...

Chidi, we don't have the luxury of using our real names here. We just had a Sgt get demoted for posting here under his real name. Any proof to back your claim that a Dkpd officer was working a pinups? By the way, your officers have also been known to work at Club Blaze on Moreland Ave from time to time. It usually Lithonia pd though.

Anonymous said...

Mr Chidi,
If you're forming opinions about the integrity of DKPD because of comments made on this blog then you live in a very small bubble. The comments posted here represent less then 1% of the officers working for Dekalb. Seriously this blog is nothing more than a cancer eating away at the this department and in no way represent the majority and believe me most officer you talk to will tell you not to give any credence to this blog.

Anonymous said...

DeKalb Officers are not authorized to work part time at adult entertainment establishments. I agree with you that public safety is number 1 priority, whether it be DKPD or Pine Lake. At the end of the day we are all in this together. Speaking on behalf of myself and many of my co-workers frustration runs high here and we work under a constant threat of speaking out and paying the price. Maybe you can write on issues that affect us all like our egotistic leaders. Part time jobs can get you into trouble so warn your officers. DeKalb had several part times pulled due to officers becoming too cozy with the clientel at local bars and clubs. Your loyalty has to be to your oath and not to a seedy club owner who caters to drug cartels or other unlawful acts. Looks bad when officers are sitting ta the door and dope dealers have no fear to freely do business inside these doors.

Anonymous said...

Technically, they're working for the China Cafeteria or is it the Oriental Market.... no DeKalb Officers at Pin Ups.

I saw where the sergeant was demoted... must have missed seeing where there were promotions to fill the 13, now 14, open sergeant positions.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:55

Most officers I talk to would say you are an idiot. Anyone who blames the sorry state of affairs at the DKPD on a web site is an idiot.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous Officer Zero-
Be careful. Some people like having a police force that better responds to their needs. Whether it's true or not, DeKalb PD has developed a reputation for unjustified superiority and lacking of a service mission. Don't be surprised if the PD gets absorbed into the SO in the coming years.

Anonymous said...

@August 1, 2014 at 3:05 PM... Are you one of those city cheerleaders still trying to promote this rumor because of your city police department has yet to deliver on the promise of lower crime? I say we unify the county police tax and form one police department and let the CEO and the mayors select the police chief. With this we get one standard for police employment as I see too many fired or disgraced officers working for these cities.We get standardized training as I see too many of these cities only do minimal training. We get standardized shifts and beats as I see the citizens are often mislead with a slogan of "more cops on patrol" by several cities when all they did was convert to a 12 hour shift. We unify law enforcement investigation from the criminal act to the arrest by putting the criminal warrant service responsibility under the police. The sheriff can run the jail, the courthouse and serve civil papers.

Anonymous said...

YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF GEORGE CHIDI!
You have the audacity to come on here and act like "a good guy friend of the police and public" on a website while you simultaneously obfuscate your duties within you own scope of authority at Pine Lake and fail to do what's best for your City.
So let's play a little game George;
TRUE or FALSE?
The ENTIRE City Council has voted (just within the last month)to GET RID of the current police Chief for incompetence, lying repeatedly to council and a host of other things that jeopardize public safety with her buddy the Mayor being the lone dissenter.
T or F ?
Yet you fail to notify the public, apply pressure or institute any effective changes there to protect the people of the City in lieu of the Mayor covering up for her. ALL BECAUSE YOU FEAR DKPD taking over patrol operations for the City which you stated that NO WAY IN HELL you wanted! Because you don't like DKP. I dare you to lie about it. T or F?
The entire council voted to suspend the Chief for lying (which is a termination offense everywhere else George) and the Mayor agreed. Then, a couple of days later, the mayor went behind the council's back and rescinded the suspension without even notifying you or anyone else. WITHOUT EXPLANATION! And you have done NOTHING to address this issue of cover up or made the Mayor accountable by AT LEAST letting the public know. You laid down and let it pass while others on the council screamed about it. T or F?
In fact, under pressure FROM OTHER council members who are trying to fight to corruption at the PD the Mayor finally buckled under pressure and said that she was resigning which would have meant immediate change for the City. YOU ALONE , encouraged her to stay while everyone else sat there and looked at you like a Judas! T or freaking F George!
You also failed to tell your council about the youtube video, anything having to do with Pin Ups or the fact that you went there for an "investigation" and reported back to a bunch anons on a DKPD website about "your findings". T or F?
You also have been going ON and ON that you don't want to get rid of the Chief (because it will shine a poor light on the City)EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW that it's best for the public safety of the City "because you don't want to see the City loose it's charter based on what happened years ago with the ticket scandal and Dept. Justice debacle.". YOU CURRENTLY UTTER THOSE WORDS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH GEORGE! T or F?
TO BE CLEAR. You believe that if a GBI investigation is done into all of the corrupt practices, lost evidence and incompetence of YOUR Pd is done IN CONJUNCTION WITH what happened years ago, the investigating authority will somehow ridiculously penalize the city by tying the two events together and snatch your authority as a city and PD to exist. Those words came out of YOUR MOUTH! T or F?

You ARE NOT A FRIEND to these good officers on this site. You don't care about public safety more than your position at the City. And you ARE NOT about the kind of change people on this site desire George.
One thing is for certain George. YOU BETTER NOT lie in writing and respond to this post by saying that what I have posted in untrue. Because if you lie, the very council position that you're trying to keep might get snatched from you based on your poor ethics.
You make it a point to respond to everyone else who Anons here so unless I'm either telling the truth or you're a hypocrite, you have to give THIS POST the same attention as the others.
SHAME ON YOU!

Anonymous said...

Wow George, looks like you have some explaining to do. Bet he goes quiet.....

Anonymous said...

Chidi craves the limelight. He fancies himself a do-gooder out to right trivial wrongs by writing overly long posts on any forum that will have him. But he's not half as smart as he thinks he is.

He loves stirring the pot and will pretend to be your friend to get a story, but all he really cares about is media attention. He convinced a WSB bobblehead to put him on the other day so he could whine about the school system not being able to process all the immigrant kids trying to sign up at the last minute. His outburst came after it was already reported that the school system can only handle 60 immigrant kids per day because of the process involved. The WSB bobblehead didn't interview a single parent but instead Pine Lake City Councilman George Chidi got camera time for his mug, and that's what matters.

Anonymous said...

And George responds by saying??????????????????????

George Chidi said...

I will happily address every point made in the Aug. 12/11:54 commentary, in public ...

... as soon as the poster identifies himself or herself.

Folks, I'm going to describe the neat Catch-22 here, which is what keeps public officials from commenting on message boards like this and, sadly, contributes to a sense of disconnect between the public and their representatives.

I can't comment on internal personnel issues in public without opening the city to legal and financial liability. I mentioned that in an earlier comment. It's one thing to talk about the value and activities of the police department as a whole, or about policy. But talking about individuals can cost the city money. And I'm not ready to do that.

However, other people can say ... well, whatever they like, plainly ... in ways that simultaneously level anonymous and damaging accusations while making those accusations impossible to reply to.

Hence, my dilemma. Perhaps our anonymous poster knows this, hoping to take a non-response as some kind of affirmation or denial. A shame. This is the sort of thing that causes public officials to just say "screw it, I don't need the trouble" and avoid commentary at all. I've been a news reporter for a long time, so that kind of personal restriction really grinds my teeth.

I will say that I don't dislike DeKalb PD. I think they do good work, that they're dramatically underpaid, and are often underappreciated. Crime has been falling. This whole thread began because I had the temerity to stick up for my own department's value in public. I accept that I'm being castigated for doing so.

The rest I'll address in a forum where people have to identify themselves to comment. I'm easy enough to find.

George Chidi

Anonymous said...

The story about George Chidi & Pine Lake Police Part 2

Let me continue;

About a month ago (if that), a brave woman named Susan Ramsey PUBLICLY stood up at the City council meeting with a complaint.

She said that a couple of weeks prior, she witnessed her home being burglarized and the bad guys carrying her stuff away through the fence leading to the Polo Apts. She immediately called the chief on her cell phone and asked for help. (Yes I know she should have called 911 but it's a small town mentality in PL sometimes).

After listening to Mrs. Ramsey's cry for help, the chief replied "I'm busy doing paperwork right now" and hung up.

In disbelief, she called a neighbor (WHO ALSO CORROBORATED THE STORY TO THE COUNCIL IN PUBLIC). The neighbor put Mrs. Ramsey on speaker and called the chief relaying exactly what was happening again. THEY BOTH HEARD the chief say "Yeah but I'm busy doing paperwork right now and can't make it" and then..CLICK once again.

After filing this formal public complaint, George Chidi and his council refused to open an investigation into the matter much less discipline the chief IN ANY WAY and swept it under the rug. 2 1/2 weeks later, chief went to HER HOME and said "uh..what I meant to say was I was at the jail so I couldn't respond". Is that how officers who get complaints get to rectify them? By going to the home of the person complaining? Plus, IT'S A LIE and they know it! If she was at the jail, she would have said "I'm out of the city/at the jail, call 911" and not "I'm busy". How about pulling the tapes from DKSO Georgie? But because George wants the prestige of his position in tact and fear mongers the concept of the council & PD "looking bad" to the public which would cause the GBI/State to take the PD's & City's authority, HE DOES NOTHING and tries to keep it a secret!

George represents THE WORST KIND of corruption and incompetence we all talk about here.

Did this woman publicly come forward and say EXACTLY what I've written here to the council? Y or N George?

You, with the Mayor out front have failed to conduct an investigation into this poor woman's complaint and it's a closed case that was never opened. T or F George? I dare you to lie on this forum George.

There were two decent councilmembers livid about it but you and the Mayor and other council shut them up because after all "we don't want the GBI to take us over do we?".

EVERYONE was there and heard it!

God Bless this site administrator for this forum and allowing the truth to come out here.

Anonymous said...

What a cowardly response.

George Chidi, you've never made ANYONE ELSE reveal who they were when they said things you liked or agreed with but now it's something different? YOU JOINED THIS FORUM KNOWING the unique nature of it prior to joining but now that someone said something you don't like you want to change the rules?

One thing's for certain, HELL if you'll answer any of those questions or deny it's truth. Personnel issues? That's my point, you squashed them so they are NOT Personnel issues at all. YOU swept them under the rug.

Allegation/complaints deal with validity and substance not just "who said it" as the end all. In fact, many complaints/video recordings etc.. are made by a 3rd party. It doesn't matter who came forward to tell, just deal with the substance and truth of it.

Ok so my name is Michael Collins and I live on lakeshore drive and my SS# is 987-65-4321. Now what? My name would make you tell the truth better here? It's about THE SUBSTANCE OF MY ALLEGATIONS AGAINST YOU and not who said it!

You're like "doggawnit, how does he/she know it all, I thought we agreed to keep it all a secret?"

What am I supposed to say George? "I'm a council member, sick of your lying and coverups and wanted to expose you for who you really are? And now that you know who I am and that I know what I'm talking about, could you please tell the truth and confirm the truth about yourself George?"

You remind me of Bishop Eddie Long and how he talked in circles instead of EMPHATICALLY DENYING AND REBUKING EVER SINGLE COMPONENT of what was alleged against him with the same kind of fire as when he preached and took up collections.

That Candy coated homogenized response of yours tells EVERYONE HERE that what I've written is true.

Do the job you promised, stop covering up for the chief and mayor and stop acting like a "people's champ" and you won't have to worry about being embarrassed over and over again on this forum. In fact, it's high time Fox 5, WSBTV and everyone else know what you guys have been doing against the city in support of the corrupt mayor and chief.

THE END.

Anonymous said...

Chidi, you're overly wordy for no reason and you're an ass. You're one of those people who just loves to talk, talk talk, and talk on and on and on. I'm going to go out in a limb and say you don't use twitter. Give it a try, it might help you become more concise. You're an ass for demanding that we identify ourselves after you've already been told doing so will hit us in the wallet, you know, the same reason you gave for not wanting to talk about individual personnel matters. Pot, here's the kettle!

Did you ever give us proof of Dekalb Officers working at Pin Ups, or is that just a libelous accusation?

Anonymous said...

George Chidi has the mentality of a true journalist. A journalist who actually has a journalism degree, so you know he has been inculcated with the BS in every which way. Like every journalist, he has no problem with pointing out certain wrongs by certain groups, but watch his expression change when the focus shifts to topics that aren't pre-approved. Or better yet, let the focus fall on him and then he squirms and hides like the worst of them.

George, you should spend more time keeping your own house in order. You could start with the thousands of dollars you owe to Capital One. Look it up in the OJS everyone. If you want to see what the local media doesn't report then look up every reporter and anchor in police records and civil cases across the metro. Lots of stuff there. Nasty divorces and child abuse claims. But you'll never see them report on their own unless it's something they're unable to hide like Amanda Davis.

But after thinking about it I figured maybe George purposely rang up all those credit charges so he could run for Sutton's seat when she becomes CEO. District 4 voters love to elect financial deadbeats.

Anonymous said...

To 5:39 pm and George responds by saying what??????????????????

Anonymous said...

It's not a "personnel" or "secret" matter to admit if "Mrs. Ramsey" stood up in a public council meeting and made that allegation Chidi.

If it was done in public, then you can confirm or deny the validity of the post.

Forget about what the City is going to do or not do about it for a second.

Did the above named person make that public complaint against the Chief?

If not, what was said?

Or is the whole thing a complete fabrication and no one by that name or any other name made any complaints against the Pine Lake Police Chief?

You can't keep saying "no comment" and hide behind your position on the council by posting things that help your cause one minute but refuse to answer other things that might shine a poor light on the council's leadership.

As a public official who announced yourself on this forum as a Pine Lake Councilman, we're holding you accountable.

I'm asking the very fair and reasonable question;

Was that public allegation made or not?

Anonymous said...


Mr. Chidi isnt the only one slandering DKPD for personal gain.
"Yandura said his department has seen some success in gaining the public’s trust. “When we first started up there was lots of distrust and non-reporting of crime,” he said, explaining that DeKalb didn’t have the manpower to properly address issues in the area, causing distrust of the police. As a result, he said, crimes were underreported."
http://www.reporternewspapers.net/2014/08/22/plan-calls-buford-highway-rebirth/

Anonymous said...

Brookhaven PD is blaming their inability to handle their crime problems around Buford Highway on DeKalb under reporting crime for those areas, even though that's always been one of the highest crime areas in the county.

Anonymous said...

Makes us wonder what these other chiefs are telling their cities? I wonder if the Decatur told their council the real truth about police prep for the Day of Rage protest? _____" Uh, yes City Council our plan is to scream help real loud and then Dekalb will send their swat unit, their motorcycles, the center precinct net team and the tucker precinct net team. We've interrupted their lives by making them give up their off day and too disregard their regular duties serving the unincorporated citizens to hide out of sight in case the protestor scare us silly. "_____BPD chief, the benchmarks for the last 7 months we worked the Brookhaven area: avg 10,500 calls a month, 2,000 tickets a month, 430 arrest a month, 900 field case reports a month, and 500 accident reports a month. To report to your city council that crime was under reported is 100% fiction.