Dunwoody Police Chief
Dunwoody Police Chief

For Dunwoody police, 2013 was a year of life-saving rescues, a rise in violent crime and the start of a new crime-fighting team.

The Dunwoody Reporter asked Police Chief Billy Grogan five questions about how he viewed the events of 2013 and what he foresees for his department in 2014. Here are his answers.

Q: What do you consider the high point for the department in 2013?

There have been many high points for the Dunwoody Police Department in 2013, so there is a lot to choose from.  However, I don’t believe any are as dramatic or important as saving a life.

In 2013, Officer Irwin and Officer Tedesco, along with help from others, used their AED device to save two separate people.

In addition, Officer Stallings was able to save a woman, who was attempting to commit suicide, from leaping off a five-story parking deck.

Q: What’s the oddest thing that happened in 2013?

There are always odd things happening around our department, odd cases we get involved in or just odd people we encounter.  It is the nature of police work.

We had a home invasion a few months ago involving several suspects and several victims.  The two groups exchanged gunfire.  The result was one victim was shot and one suspect was shot in the forehead between the eyes.  The odd part was the bullet did not penetrate his skull.  Instead, it lodged in his forehead.

He went to the hospital and was released with a bandage and told to make an appointment to have it removed at his convenience.

Q: At mid-year 2013, violent crimes appeared to be trending up slightly in Dunwoody while property crimes were trending down. Did those trends hold through the year?  How do you interpret the numbers for 2013?

Those trends have continued the remainder of the year.  Through November, overall crime is down 4.2 percent.  However, our crimes against persons is up 19.5 percent. Fortunately, we have very few crimes against persons so even a slight increase in numbers can be a significant percentage.

We have a much higher solvability rate for person crimes.  We solved our only homicide and several home invasions quickly.  Many of the other crimes against persons were domestically related.

Q: The department in May added a Crime Response Team. Has the team made any noticeable difference? How?

The Crime Response Team has been a great asset to the department since their deployment earlier this year.  They have made a significant number of arrests, including many felony arrests.  The department has been able to use them to effectively target high crime areas with targeted traffic enforcement.

In addition, the unit has been used to conduct stakeouts in areas experiencing an increase in entering autos which resulted in multiple offenders being arrested and multiple cases being cleared.  The unit has been able to quickly and efficiently address traffic complaints as they are received.  The unit also has done an exceptional job addressing traffic issues around our schools.

Q: What do you expect for the department in 2014?

In 2014, the addition of a new detective and a crime analyst for the department will greatly enhance the exceptional work already being accomplished by the Dunwoody Police Department.

The additional detective position will help reduce the case load of our detectives so they may devote more time to each case and conduct a more thorough investigation.

The new Crime Analyst will provide much needed support for the effective deployment of our limited resources.  The department will continue to expand our partnership with the community to help keep Dunwoody safe.

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011-2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com