By Valerie Rose Sellers

The state of public safety, recent burglaries and crime-prevention tips were the topics of a town-hall meeting with Sandy Springs police officials Sept. 10 at Mount Vernon Baptist Church.

The meeting, organized and hosted by Dist. 6 council member Karen McEnerney, was an effort to reach out to concerned residents.

Lt. Scott Jamison, commander of the South District, where much of the concern about burglary has been focused, assured residents that burglaries are a high priority and that crimes are investigated aggressively.

“There is no cause for concern,” he said, adding that statistically crime is down 46 percent in the area compared to last year.

He said that preventative measures should consider by residents, some of whom questioned whether there was more they can do, such as purchase a firearm. “Anyone considering the use of a firearm should be familiar with the law and be trained to use it,” said Jamison, who is a firearms instructor.

Burglary Det. Joe Williams implored citizens to consider themselves essential to protecting neighborhoods against burglaries by becoming more vigilant, knowing their neighbors and calling police when something doesn’t seem right. He said time is critical. Many burglaries last only 20 seconds to one minute, giving criminals ability to escape before police arrive.

Williams further encouraged citizens to be proactive by documenting personal items, such as by writing down serial numbers and photographing personal belongings.

“If you realize your home has been burglarized, don’t touch anything,” he said. “Just put your hands in your pockets and dial 911.”

Community/Croime Prevention Office Tim Burrell appealed to residents to consider an alarm system, or at least dead-bolt locks. He recommended a useful website,, where residents can access incident reports in their areas.