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JULY 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016 • VOL. 7 — NO. 15


Dunwoody Reporter


Perimeter Business ► Brick-and-mortar banks thrive in digital age PAGE 4 ► Pressure-washing company cleans up college debt PAGE 5

Eyes on the fries

DHA to battle ‘existential threat’ from Dunwoody officials BY DYANA BAGBY

At left, Tate Ryals, 13, and her sister Taylor, 16, share french fries from Mix’d Up Burgers during Food Truck Thursdays at Brook Run Park on July 14.

EDUCATION Standout Student

In spite of the numerous protests across the United States and the anti-police rhetoric on social media, Dunwoody police officers continue to build positive relationships with our community and maintain high morale. DUNWOODY POLICE CHIEF

Page 20


See COMMENTARY, page 10


ROAD TRIP Northwest Georgia offers visions of other places, other times Page 17

The Dunwoody Homeowners Association is hiring its own attorney to try to clear up the confusion on whether or not DHA members can serve on city boards. DHA members voted July 10 to hire real estate attorney Seth Weissman and ask him to produce a written memo to the homeowners group that details how DHA members can avoid conflicts of interest while serving on city boards, such as the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. Weissman will also be asked to give his opinion on free speech rights and open meeting law requirements, said DHA President Robert Wittenstein. The memo will be shared with DHA board members and also with the City Council and city staff. See HOME OWNERS on page 12

City settles three police-search lawsuits involving same officer BY DYANA BAGBY

Jermaine Muhammad remembers vividly the day three years ago when he was pulled over by a city police officer. “He pulled me over for a cracked windshield and then immediately began asking me if I had weapons and drugs,” said Muhammad, the owner of Dunwoody Barber Salon on Winters Chapel Road. Officer Dale Laskowski told Muhammad that several local officers had See CITY on page 14

2 | Community ■

Brook Run theater going the way of the bulldozer BY DYANA BAGBY

The Dunwoody City Council voted July 10 to seek bids to demolish the Brook Run theater, putting to rest the controversy of what to do with the shuttered building that has dogged the community for more than a year. Councilmember Lynn Deutsch made the motion to seek bids for demolition. The vote was 6 to 1 with Mayor Denis Shortal casting the lone “no” vote. “I’m not convinced the expenditure or the holding of city resources on this project is a good use of our limited resources … as it relates to our parks,” Deutsch said. Deutsch said she thoroughly read the Brook Run Conservancy’s reports on the theater project, which recently morphed into a community center as the conservancy sought to rebrand the proposed venture. She said she also carefully read the city’s recent parks survey. “In our parks survey, over and over again, the top three priorities are pretty similar and they are not a theater, not a community center, not senior center,” Deutsch said. Putting the city’s parks master plan on hold for Brook Run Park and the com-


Left, Councilmember Lynn Deutsch holds up a report from the Brook Run Conservancy regarding the theater/ community center. Deutsch made the motion on July 10 to seek bids to demolish Brook Run theater, right.

munity center didn’t seem fair, either, she said. “And I’m not sure that’s a challenge most citizens of Dunwoody want us to take,” she said. Councilmember John Heneghan asked that the demolition bids include ways to save the stained glass windows located in the building’s chapel. Shortal worried that voting to demolish the theater building would anger longtime community volunteers. “We’re undermining a lot of citizens

tonight, a lot of our rich talent,” he said. Shortal made a motion to put $500,000 of city funds toward demolishing the building and $500,000 from the city’s $4 million park settlement with DeKalb County toward saving the theater. His motion died for lack of a second. After the vote, Danny Ross, president of the Brook Run Conservancy, was noticeably upset. “To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement,” he said. “They’re going

to kill the community … the spirit of volunteerism.” Former DeKalb CEO Liane Levetan, whose name is part of Brook Run Park, said the vote was a “tragedy” and the building was a “last vestige of our history.” Rick Callihan, a Dunwoody Homeowners Association board member, was pleased with the vote. “I think it’s a victory for the children of Dunwoody,” he said. “This clears the way for sports fields to be built in Brook Run Park.” A recent estimated cost to demolish the building came in at slightly more than $350,000.

DeKalb BOC kills sales tax votes The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted July 19 to kill putting referendums for proposed sales tax increases on the November ballot after questions were raised that doing so would likely eliminate a longstanding property tax freeze. The 1 percent Special Local Option Sales Tax was to be used to fund infrastructure projects, including paving. An Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax was also proposed to be on the ballot. As part of the process to get the referendums on the ballot, DeKalb County sought Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA) and resolutions of support for the SPLOST and E-HOST referendums from municipalities, including Brookhaven and Dunwoody. The Dunwoody City Council deferred its vote to support the measures on July 11, before the tax freeze questions were raised, to see how the BOC would vote at its July 19 meeting. On July 18, at a special called meeting, Dunwoody City Council voted again to defer voting on the measures. DUN

JULY 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Community | 3

Dunwoody to pay out $850,000 in Manget Way settlement

Dunwoody City Council voted on July 10 to approve a settlement agreement with the Center for Discovery over opening a rehabilitation facility on Manget Way.


Dunwoody will have to pay $850,000 in a lawsuit settlement with a company that is opening a home treatment facility on Manget Way. Of the total, the city’s insurance will pay $600,000 and the remaining $250,000 will come out of the city’s budgetary reserves. According to an open records request, the city paid just over $35,500 in legal fees on this suit, from July 2014 to this month. The City Council voted July 10 to approve a settlement agreement with the Center for Discovery, a California-based company that has leased a house since 2014 on Manget Way to treat teenage girls with eating disorders. However, the final figure for the settlement wasn’t determined until the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled on the city’s challenge of a DeKalb Superior Court judge’s decision. The Court of Appeals ruled against the city July 14. The settlement agreement ends two lawsuits the city is facing by the Center for Discovery — the Court of Appeals case and a federal lawsuit that was seeking $5 million. In the Court of Appeals case, the city was appealing a decision last year by DeKalb Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger. The judge reversed the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals decision to prohibit the Center for Discovery from opening a home treatment center on Manget Way. The Center for Discovery also filed a federal lawsuit last year claiming the city, among other things, violated the federal Fair Housing Act by discriminating against its patients. “The ZBA erroneously construed the ordinance despite its plain language and the superior court, in accordance with its obligation to construe, correctly ruled so,” states the July 14 Court of Appeals ruling. “[T}he appeals provisions of the zoning ordinance were not clearly invalid, and the superior court’s reversal of the ZBA’s contrary interpretation is correct and must be affirmed,” the ruling states. Last year, the City Council voted to require a special land-use permit for operators of personal care homes housing less


than four people in single-family residential areas. The rehabilitation facility on Manget Way that will treat teenage girls with eating disorders will also be able to open as part of the settlement. “This is a very, very difficult decision for everybody up here. Our legal attorneys have told us that chances of our winning … are not that great. This is gut wrenching,” Mayor Denis Shortal said at the July 10 meeting. “But it is a decision … that protects the citizens of the city and the financial viability of the city going into the future.” “Monetary funds may be the pay out, but the real cost will be borne by the neighbors of Manget Way,” said Councilmember Terry Nall, who cast a “no” vote along with Councilmember John Heneghan. “The settlement contains numerous non-monetary provisions to lessen the impact on the neighbors, but the neighbors of Manget Way still lose,” Nall said July 10. “We would not be here today if our Community Development staff asked more questions when the original Zoning Certification Letter was requested. Period,” Nall said. Councilmember Lynn Deutsch said the settlement agreement allowed the city to negotiate some terms with the Center for Discovery before it opens the rehab facility, including limited parking, no signage and keeping the home looking as it does now. The city has been represented by Laurel Henderson of the Georgia Interlocal Management Risk Agency or GIRMA. Municipalities pay dues to GIRMA and when sued, GIRMA handles the legal defense and also pays out some settlement costs if necessary. Henderson explained the city’s chances of winning, especially the federal lawsuit, were slim. “The law under the Fair Housing Act is heavily against the city prevailing,” she said. Henderson told the council that GIRMA “has agreed to contribute $600,000 for the settlement.” The Center for Discovery purchased property on Manget Way and in January


2014, the city confirmed the property would be classified as a “family personal care home,” according to the federal lawsuit. After the deadline to appeal the city’s approval of the property for such use, “a

group of neighbors trespassed on plaintiff’s property and made false presumptions about plaintiff’s intended use based on the statements of a sprinkler contractor,” according to the federal lawsuit. Neighbors quickly rallied opposition and urged support from city officials to deny the facility be allowed on Manget Way. The neighbors argued the facility had wrongly been considered a personal care home instead of a medical treatment facility, which would be prohibited in a single-family neighborhood. In June 2014, the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals ruled in the neighbors’ favor. Center for Discovery sued the ZBA, leading to its victory last year in DeKalb Superior Court.

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4 | Perimeter Business ■

Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

Why brick-and-mortar branch banks still thrive in the digital age BY JOHN RUCH

When the Old Hickory House restaurant, a local landmark in Dunwoody Village, closed in 2014, a prankster resident posted a sign out front reading, “Anything here but a bank.” Today, SunTrust wants to turn it into a new branch bank. In the digital age, major banks are moving services online and slashing branch banks by the thousands nationwide. So why is the Perimeter area seeing a branch boom big enough to inspire that joke-turned-prediction in Dunwoody? Experts say the factors are a booming local economy, expanding banks wanting to plant flags, and the marketing of more personalized services that branches can provide. “I think that brick-and-mortar cer-


Experts say traditional banks, like this newly built Bank of America branch at 6087 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, are thriving due to a booming local economy and branches marketing more personalized services.

tainly is not obsolete today, but there’s no question it’s certainly used less by customers today than in past generations,” said Chris Burnett, market president at

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the Bank of Sandy Springs. But that’s still a lot of customers, and the face-to-face personal banking touch can be a big factor in customer loyalty

and marketing specialty products, Burnett said. Most individual customers still prefer to set up an account in person— even if they bank online day-to-day later—and Burnett said he expects the baby boomer generation to continue a brickand-mortar leaning as they age. “I think, by and large, they are still more comfortable with a personal bank relationship as opposed to online banking,” said Burnett. At the Bank of Sandy Springs, Burnett changed the way the building functions in response to modern times. “We’ve taken out the traditional teller line” in favor of desks with comfortable chairs, he said. In part, that’s making a virtue of modern banking’s necessity of reduced staffing, but it’s also part of the community Continued on page 6

JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Perimeter Business | 5

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Sandy Springs resident Wesley Bloeme, who started College Student Pressure Washing in 2014 to help reduce college debt, plans on continuing the business after graduation.

Student’s pressure-washing company cleans up college debt BY JOHN RUCH

In 2014, Sandy Springs resident Wesley Bloeme didn’t know much about pressure washing. But he knew a lot about the student debt facing him as he attended Maryville College in Tennessee. Now the young entrepreneur has turned a summer job into College Student Pressure Washing, a business that employs two other students and has him on track to graduate next year debt-free. “I always wanted to have my own business since I was a small boy,” said Bloeme, a graduate of Buckhead’s Christ the King School and Sandy Springs’ Riverwood high school. In part, that was because of his parents’ entrepreneurship: Father Peter Bloeme is co-founder of the Atlanta Rocks! indoor climbing gym, and mother Lynn Duran is an independent public relations specialist. In the summer of 2014, a friend suggested to Bloeme that they mow lawns to make some cash. Bloeme figured that most local homeowners already have mowing contracts, and he wanted a longer-term money-making opportunity. He saw a market for pressure washing, even though he knew nothing about the machines, which use pressurized water to clean outdoor surfaces. Bloeme said that summer, he got a small pressure-washer from a friend’s aunt and found a first customer. “I didn’t even know how to turn it on until I got to the job,” he said. Since then, Bloeme has learned a lot more about the business and has been successful enough to invest $20,000 in equipment. Meanwhile, he’s made college loans part of his sales pitch. The company’s logo is a man using a pressure-washer to free his ankle from a ball

and chain labeled “student debt.” During the summer, his business operates in Buckhead, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs. The company has cleaned entire neighborhoods in Brookhaven and Sandy Springs for homeowners associations, he said. During the school year, Bloeme doesn’t stop working; he just shifts business to the area of his college, which is near Knoxville, Tenn. He cut a deal with a local storage unit company to let him keep his washing rig there in exchange for cleaning the facility. Describing his workload from earlier this year, Bloeme made it clear a big work ethic is required. “I play on the college tennis team. I had my full course load of classes and was working 40 hours a week,” he said. Even so, something had to give. It was Bloeme’s position as placekicker on the school’s football team. “It’s more important for me to graduate debt-free than to be an all-conference player,” he said. The booming business was one influence on Bloeme’s choice of a major in finance and accounting. He intends to put those skills to use continuing the business after graduation next spring. “I see myself continuing it on,” he said. “I plan on coming back to Sandy Springs, coming home, just growing the business down there.” But will it still be called “College Student Pressure Washing” when Bloeme is no longer a student? “I’ve thought about it. I want to keep it,” he said of the name. “I want to continue the mission of [hiring] guys who can graduate without, or minimize, student debt.” For more information about Bloeme’s business, see

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6 | Perimeter Business ■

Why brick-and-mortar branch banks still thrive in the digital age Continued from page 4 bank’s marketing of “high-touch” personal relationships instead of herding customers in lines. Burnett said the personal touch is also important for banks that market specialty services like wealth

management and insurance that involve a sense of trust. Such changes mirror larger industry trends. An American Bankers Association report last year said more than 2,600 branch banks nationwide shuttered in 2014 and staff was cut within many of

those that remain. But the real trend, the report said, is not eliminating branch bank systems, but rather “optimizing” them. For example, Chase Bank last year announced the closure of 300 branchJOHN RUCH es—but also From left, Chris Burnett, market president at the Bank of Sandy the reconfigSprings, Tiffany Kennybrew, assistant banking center manager, uration of far and Cindy Miller, banking specialist, at a desk and chair area for customers, instead of the traditional teller line. more, about 1,200 of them, building. to automate routine services and focus “The branch banking center conpersonal contact on customers who realtinues to be an important resource for ly need and want it. many of our clients,” Miller said, adding Brad Miller, a consumer network that in the online banking era, “many cliplanning executive at SunTrust Bank, ents still prefer to use branches for more talked in system-optimizing terms about in-depth conversations in order to gain why the bank is looking at the Old Hickthe financial confidence to achieve a life ory site. He said SunTrust aims to “conwell-spent.” sistently refine its branch network” and The Old Hickory House happens to be that the Dunwoody location gives good right next door to a Bank of North Georcustomer access and a more efficient gia branch. Burnett said branches serve as important marketing in a metro Atlanta boom time. He said that during the 2008 recession, about 90 Georgia banks closed. Now that number is climbing back up, with many new banks entering the market and plenty of bank mergers and acquisitions. The real question for the banking industry—and probably for the fate of other beloved former restaurants—is what the millennial generation will want after growing up online. “Branches will change or die,” said a Bain & Company report last year on bank customer behavior and loyalty, while adding that some the trends are elusive. The report found that most customers use a mix of physical and online banking, and that branches can be an important way to build customer relationships. On the other hand, the report also found that customers who use branches frequently are almost three times more likely to switch banks than those who frequently bank online. And the digital world offers all sorts of new ways to offer personal touches without literally in-person contact, it noted. So it remains to be seen whether millennial customers will want face-to-face banking, or what “face-to-face” will mean in the tech future. At the Bank of Sandy on any double installed on any single installed Springs, a place where they still offer cusThermacore® door Thermacore® door tomers free coffee and hand out candy to their kids, Burnett said, “Candidly, we Not valid with any other offer. Expires 12/31/16 don’t have an answer to that question.”

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Auto body shop’s owner has lifelong love affair with cars BY JOE EARLE

Lisa Dombrowsky likes cars. She has since she was a teenager. “I’ve been in this business since I was 17,” said Dombrowsky, the owner of Dent Wizard on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, who’s 46 and has kids of her own now. “I started selling cars... I wanted a brand-new 300 ZX and the only way to buy myself a car was to go to work. I worked long enough to get that car.” She lived in Miami then. Originally a Jersey girl, she moved to south Florida with her family at age 14, she said. She got her first job at 15, working in a restaurant. She’s worked at different jobs through the years, but kept coming back to ones that had something to do with cars. “I’ve just always been into cars,” she said. “I love ’em. I love the feel of a nice car. I love the way a car looks. There’s nothing better than having a kick-ass car that you’re one with. ... You can just drive.” After she earned enough money to buy that first 300 ZX, she went into auto insurance, she said. Through the years, she worked with a car detailing company and for a mobile body shop su-

pervising the guys who removed dents from banged-up fenders. “I started with two trucks and within a year, I have 12 trucks on the road, and 24 guys and 39 dealerships served,” she said. When she met her husband-to-be, a neighbor in her apartment complex named Scott, he was in the dent-fixing business, too. “We lived in the same complex,” she recalls. “He lived downstairs with his little frou-frou Pomeranian and I lived upstairs with my two kids.” They relocated to Atlanta and, in 2010, went into business running the car dent repair shop at 5717 Peachtree Industrial Highway in Chamblee. Scott, who had worked for years with Dent Wizard, knew the repair side of the business, Dombrowsky said. “I’m the one who knew the business side,” she said. “He knew nothing about the business side. ... He had the skill of paintless dent repair,” which she described as a method of fixing dents in car fenders by using tools on the inside and outside of fenders to push out the dent. Getting settled in metro Atlanta wasn’t easy at first, she said. “I hated it here,” she said. Then, in 2012, Scott died from an an-

eurism in his brain. Lisa suddenly had to take over the business, called Unique Auto Appearance, and run it by herself. “Solo,” she said. It hasn’t been easy. She says other business owners think they can take advantage of her simply because she’s a woman owner in a male-dominated business. She hired her own staff and still operates her business from the repair shop located among the cluster of car dealers on Peachtree Industrial. “It is a man’s world, but being in it since I was 17, I don’t look at it that way,” she said. “In Georgia it’s that way, but in Miami, it’s not. I take my business seriously. If something happens to somebody’s car, I fix it. I look at clients’ cars as if they’re my own cars.”

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8 | Perimeter Business ■

Ribbon Cuttings

“My favorite part about living here is the flexibility to be as active and sociable as I want!”

Cutting the ribbon on the 1000 Spalding Apartments at 1000 Spalding Drive in Sandy Springs on July 14 included Barbara Pomerance, Joanne Harrington, Marvin Tulloch, Rachel Sliger, Fatima Youssef, Felicia Cowan, Bill Ritter, Samantha Burton, Devin Harvey, Scarlett Sparkman, Suzanne Brown and Beth Berger.

Meet Christie Kinsaul, who moved to Canterbury Court to downsize and simplify her life. Little did she know how much she would love her new lifestyle. “Maintaining a two-story townhouse and everything in it was taking considerable time and effort. I was ready for some changes, and I wanted to make the move on my own terms.” Christie didn’t expect to find such luxurious living in a one-bedroom apartment, which she says “is plenty big” and comes with full services and amenities. She was also delighted to discover an abundance of activities designed for resident interests, including outings to local events. As a retired music teacher, she’s especially fond of going to the Atlanta Symphony and the opera.

Fido Fido Dog Daycare and Boarding, located at 275 Mount Vernon Highway in Sandy Springs, recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a ribbon cutting. On hand for the festivities, from left, Barbra Pomerance, Katie DeVos, Jan Paul, Marea White, Suzanne Brown, Mayor Rusty Paul, Erica Rocker-Willis and Beth Berger. The facility offers grooming, massage, birthday parties and other services for canines.

Along with more flexibility to spend her time as she chooses, Christie’s move to Canterbury Court has given her peace of mind knowing that on-site health services are available, should she ever need them. Call (404) 365-3163 to see our warm, inviting community and furnished model apartments, including our diamond collection one-bedroom residences. 3750 Peachtree Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30319 Canterbury Court is Atlanta’s first and foremost continuing care retirement community, non-profit, and committed to welcoming all people.

Jinya Ramen Bar, located in the Hammond Springs Shopping Center, opened on June 29 with a ribbon cutting sponsored by the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce and the city of Sandy Springs. Chamber ambassadors, along with representatives of the city’s Economic Development department, attended. Co-owners William Chen, Li Cheng and Julie Mei cut the ribbon.

JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Perimeter Business | 9

Tupelo Honey Café, at 4600 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, opened its doors last month with a ribbon cutting. Attending were Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul joined by, from left, Zac Coleman, Tiara Coleman, Alesha Sisk, Jessica Hammond, Jeff Gould, Stephen Frabitore and Tyler Alford.

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Why and How do I talk to my parent about In-Home care A ribbon cutting and grand re-opening of Fairfield Inn & Suites Perimeter was held on June 30, with many in attendance. Front row, Jeff Shockley, Will Carlson, Beth Hogberg, Brooke Stall, general manager, Tammie Collins-Floyd, Erica Rocker-Wills, Walter Derby, Nancy Curtin Morris and Suzanne Brown. Back row, David Zacker, Drew Salapka, Chuck Powell Sr. and Roger Miller. The hotel is located at 1145 Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs.

PCIDs, Business Alliance move office

The Perimeter Community Improvement Districts moved July 1 from Dunwoody’s Ravinia complex to Sandy Springs’ 500 NorthPark office tower. Going along with the move were the PCIDs Perimeter Connects commuting alternatives program and the Perimeter Business Alliance, a PCIDs partner organization. The PCIDs are two self-taxing business districts in Perimeter Center—one on the DeKalb County side and one in Fulton—that share a single staff. The move to 1100 Abernathy Road makes the PCIDs a neighbor of such corporations as Veritiv, which joined the Fortune 500 list this year. For more information, see

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10 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers 

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Opinion / The state of police-community relations The relationship between police departments and civilians is in a local and national spotlight. Huge protests followed the controversial police killings earlier this month of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. Meanwhile, gunmen mass-murdered police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Reporter Newspapers asked local police chiefs how their forces are reacting to the event in Dallas—the Baton Rouge incident had not happened yet—and what training their departments use to keep routine interactions between officers and the public from escalating into shootings.

Chief Billy Grogan

Dunwoody Police Department The ambush and execution of five Dallas police officers and the assault of seven other officers with their department serves as a stark reminder of the dangers Chief Billy Grogan facing law enforcement today. Unfortunately, the reality of this danger struck close to home hours after the deadly shooting in Dallas when a Roswell police officer was shot at and a Valdosta police officer was shot in

Chief Kenneth DeSimone Sandy Springs Police Department

It is a challenging time for law enforcement. Our Sandy Springs police officers and their families understandably are concerned. In meeting Chief Kenneth DeSimone with our force, I remind them of the need to remain vigilant both in their normal police duties as well as when they are off duty and at home with their families. I advise them to remember their training

what has been described as an ambush. In spite of the dangers law enforcement faces today, Dunwoody police officers continue to provide professional service to the citizens of Dunwoody through fair and impartial policing. In spite of the numerous protests across the United States and the anti-police rhetoric on social media, Dunwoody police officers continue to build positive relationships with our community and maintain high morale. The department has worked tirelessly to train our staff in how to de-escalate tense police encounters so the public and officers remain safe. This training has included role-playing “use of force” scenarios where the actions of the officer influences the response of the role-player. Additionally, over 50 percent of the department’s staff has attended Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), which provides extensive training in how to respond to calls where someone is experiencing a mental health crisis. Our goal is to send 100 percent of our officers to CIT

training. In the near future, we plan to provide Procedural Justice training for officers as well. Our officers are also equipped with several non-lethal force options like pepper spray and a Taser. Of course, an important piece of having a professional police department that maintains a good relationship with the community is holding officers accountable. The Dunwoody Police Department reviews every use of force for policy compliance. Also, supervisors randomly review in-car video and body-worn camera video for policy compliance and training opportunities. The Dunwoody Police Department operates in a transparent and open manner to foster a positive relationship with our community. We use social media to educate and inform and as a means to provide that transparency. As we all know, communication is the key to any successful relationship.

and tactics learned, and to trust their instincts to stay safe in these most troubling of times. The city has invested a great deal of time and resources into training that includes cultural diversity instruction as well as “shoot and don’t shoot” tactics. We constantly work with officers in developing discipline and restraint in the use of deadly force. This past week, SSPD opened its new training facility, expanding our capacity in developing these skills. Our department will open the use of this facility to other surrounding law enforcement agencies as well. We will continue to be proactive in our robust training programs. We are very committed in the area of developing relationships within the community as evidenced through the driving and self-defense programs we offer, the Citizens on Patrol volunteer program, the neighborhood watch programs and more. The outpouring of

support we’ve received from the community has been tremendous. We’ve received calls and letters; individuals and company representatives have dropped by headquarters to deliver meals and baked goods; and thousands have expressed their support via social media. That support is a source of comfort and is greatly appreciated by the men and women that serve Sandy Springs. We don’t take it for granted. It will be some time before the confrontational atmosphere subsides. We also need to remain responsive to the community we serve. I am working closely with our command staff to make certain we take appropriate operational measures to ensure the continued safety of our officers as well as the members of the community. Our focus has been, and will continue to be, the safety of our officers and those in the community we serve.

© 2016 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.

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JULY 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Chief George Turner

Atlanta Police Department The recent murder of five Dallas police officers sent shockwaves through the Atlanta Police Department (APD). The mass shooting put officers on notice that Chief George Turner they too can become a target. Members of the law enforcement community share a bond that reaches beyond our city and state borders. When one of us is affected in this manner, it affects all of us. Our Employee Assistance Program and Chaplaincy Unit are available to assess the mental and emotional well-being of our officers. Every day we leave our respective homes, not knowing if we will return. Each member of the Atlanta Police Department has accepted the responsibility to protect and serve the city of Atlanta with integrity and dignity. The risks associated with being a police officer are heightened during times like these, which makes our officers more vigilant while reinforcing our commitment to our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chief David Brown and the Dallas Police Department. In an effort to promote positive interactions among officers and citizens, APD has made community policing a priori-

Chief Gary Yandura

Brookhaven Police Department

Chief Gary Yandura

All the officers are more cautious when responding to calls. We are sending at least two officers out on more serious calls. Officers are now prone to back each other

up on traffic stops. The recent police killings have not hurt department morale because most of the officers wouldn’t have taken the job without knowing there are risks involved, and most officers enjoy their jobs. In some respects the outpouring of community support we’ve received recently has actually strengthened department DUN

Commentary | 11

ty. The Atlanta Police Department is one of the most progressive and diverse police departments. We are aware that the department mirrors the communities we serve. We actively communicate and connect with citizens; therefore, we are meeting and strategizing with community leaders to address their concerns and develop the right type of response. The Atlanta Police Department is one of 15 law enforcement agencies in the nation to be recognized for implementing the 21st Century Policing methods. We obtained a model city designation for our efforts to implement and follow the 59 recommendations set in place by President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. We have taken on a guardian mindset to continue to build trust and nurture relationships. The Atlanta Police Department already provides professional development and continuing education training for officers who are actively serving. In an effort to put the best officers on the streets, Atlanta Police recruits receive over 22 weeks of academy-based training; more than double the 10 weeks and a day mandated by the state of Georgia, and 12 weeks of field training. Atlanta police recruits and officers are the most extensively trained police officers in the state. The training provided helps our officers to properly identify and avoid situations from escalating into shootings. Training received by Atlanta police officers includes: interpersonal communication/cultural awareness; control tactics/less than lethal weapons; crisis intervention; LGBT awareness; cultural diversity; and bias-based profiling.

morale. To prevent regular stops from escalating to violence, we are just using open communication—all of our officers are handling everything the same way they always have. We haven’t had any complaints; our officers are mindful of peoples’ rights and are courteous to people. A number of our officers have received a training called “Verbal Judo,” which is a method of verbal de-escalation, and we are going to continue to provide that. More training was actually scheduled before the last the few incidents, but we continue to increase our training on dealing with mentally disturbed people through Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT). I’m serving on the state board of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The CIT training is a subsidiary of NAMI; we are trying to increase participation in NAMI throughout the state. I also just attended this past week the White House Advancing 21st Century Police Briefing, which emphasizes more cooperation and interaction with the community and promotes positive interactions through the use of social media.

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12 | Community ■

Homeowners association to battle ‘existential threat’ from city officials Continued from page 1 The decision to hire an attorney came about after the Dunwoody Council attempted to prohibit DHA members from serving on city boards out of fear of lawsuits from developers because of potential conflicts of interest. The council backtracked the decision to do so after considerable backlash from DHA members. “What we do [as DHA] is not unique, and no other place in metro Atlanta has a city or county that tried to create this wall of separation the lawyers for the city of Dunwoody are proposing,” Wittenstein said. In an email to Wittenstein, Weismann said he was unaware of any court striking down a denial from a zoning board because one of its members was also serving on a neighborhood or civic association. Wittenstein said that the DHA is no different than the Buckhead Coalition, for example, referring to an invitationonly civic group of CEOs and other leaders in that Atlanta neighborhood. He also pointed out that Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens was president of the East Cobb Civic Association, also a homeowners group, before being elected to the Cobb County Commission and did not resign that membership while serving on the commission. In Brookhaven, “No one is aware of a policy that limits citizen participation in our community,” said city spokesperson Ann Marie Quill. She said the city does want to ensure the public has input on proposed developments, and in 2014 the Brookhaven City Council approved the Public Participation Plan. The zoning ordinance requires developers to mail letters to

Dunwoody Homeowners Association members packed their meeting room on July 10 to hear Mayor Denis Shortal explain his position on prohibiting DHA members from serving on city boards.

residents living within 500 feet of the proposed development and inform them of a public meeting on the project. The meeting must be held a month before it is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission. In Sandy Springs, there are members of HOAs who serve on zoning boards, said spokesperson Sharon Kraun, and there are no rules in place prohibiting HOA members from serving on city boards. “But we don’t have one [HOA] like the DHA … they’re a big group,” she said. The Sandy Springs City Council last year approved a zoning ordinance similar to Brookhaven’s. The city now requires developers inform residents in the area of a proposed development and to hold at least two community meetings –


one meeting must be held two weeks before filing an rezoning application with the city and then again one month before the developers are slated to appear before the Planning Commission. Kraun said the City Council wanted to ensure there was plenty of public outreach and participation. “Developers work with the residents in the neighborhood and by the time they come into the city’s official channels, much back-and-forth over what the neighbors want and don’t want has been hashed out,” she said. “There’s lots already happening before [a case] gets to the Planning Commission,” she said. Wittenstein said when he heard about the email that went out to DHA members from the city’s legal team asking them to

resign either from the DHA or their city board, he was ready to “declare war” on the city. But he realized nothing good would come from doing so. However, he is still angry that city officials did what they did in secret while also threatening DHA members with legal action if they spoke with anyone about the issue. “The city’s actions are inexcusable,” Wittenstein said. “This is the first time we’ve had to be afraid of our own government.” Wittenstein characterized the city’s actions as an “existential threat” on the mission of the DHA. Founded in 1970, the DHA was formed to represent homeowners to, first, the DeKalb County Commission and now to the Dunwoody City Council. As part of that mission, developers oftentimes come to DHA meeting seeking public input on proposed projects. “If the developers will not come to us … then the homeowners will lose a valuable voice,” he said. “Above all else we cannot accept the idea of a wall … between us and the city.” “If such a wall is put up by the city, the DHA will then become the parade committee,” Wittenstein said. “And that is not why were founded.” One person attending the meeting questioned why developers had to “come before the DHA to kiss DHA’s ring” and not just go before the City Council with its proposal. He also said DHA represents about 1,000 homeowners out of a city with approximately 9,000 homeowners. Former DHA President Stacey Harris said “there’s no ring kissing” at DHA meetings. “Information is disseminated and we get to ask questions and people get to see what is going on in their city,” she said.

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JULY 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Community | 13

Mayor admits DHA decision should have been brought ‘out into the open’ BY DYANA BAGBY

tive session with no pubon city boards — lic input. that’s something we Shortal explained have to look at,” he Mayor Denis Shortal told members of that while the council said. “You’ve been prethe Dunwoody Homeowners Association doesn’t vote during an briefed … and without at its July 10 meeting that the City Counexecutive session, a cona doubt that creates cil should have discussed in public a resensus is reached during significant liability.” cent decision to prohibit DHA members the closed-door meetState Sen. Fran from serving on city boards, but that the ing before an action can Millar, a DHA memreason to do so was to limit the city’s fimove forward. ber, said the DHA repnancial and legal liability. Shortal said the resents homeowners, DYANA BAGBY “I’ll be the first to admit that what we council agreed to evalan important constitMayor Denis Shortal should have done on this issue is … we uate who can serve on uency. should have brought it out into the open,” city boards as a direct re“All DHA is is one Shortal said. “We were all involved. I’m sult of lawsuits the city is facing. One of perspective,” Millar said. While taking a just one, and it takes at least four” counthe lawsuits was settled July 10 during a look at whether DHA board members can cil members to make a decision, he said. special called City Council meeting. serve on city boards is a reasonable deciShortal talked to a packed room of At that meeting, the council voted to sion, targeting the entire DHA memberDHA members for about 30 minutes to approve a settlement agreement with the ship was wrong, Millar told Shortal. Milexplain why he and a majority of the Center for Discovery which had sued the lar also said the lawsuits the city is facing council supported the recent decision city in DeKalb Superior Court and federal have nothing to do with the DHA. to ask DHA members serving on city court over its denial to allow it to open a Shortal agreed that prohibiting all boards, such as the Planning Commishome treatment facility on Manget Way DHA members from serving on a city sion and Zoning Board of Appeals, to eifor teenage girls with eating disorders. board was “ultra-safe” and the counther resign from DHA or the city board With bigger, multi-million dollar decil would likely look at only DHA board due to a possible conflict of interest that velopment projects on the city’s radar, members. could lead to lawsuits against the city by it was time for the council to take a hard Bob Lundsten, a longtime DHA memdevelopers. look at who can serve on city boards, ber, told Shortal the city’s trust was vioAfter backlash from DHA, the counShortal said. lated when it issued the directive from cil backtracked its decision and voted “DHA hears these [development] rebehind closed doors. to suspend enforcement of the directive quests before they get to the city, and “What you did and how you did it is that was apparently decided in an execumany decision makers are on DHA and disturbing,” Lundsten said. 07-29-15_PerimeterPediatricDentistryFinal_Layout 1 7/27/15 9:18 AM Page 1

“The trust in this city is gone and the reason why, Mr. Mayor, is this was done in an illegal executive session,” he said. “The minute [the council] starts talking policy, drafting policy, that’s a violation of the city trust.” Lundsten also criticized the city’s legal team for issuing an opinion that DHA members should not serve on city boards. “The advice you are getting from this law firm is the advice it gives to all city startups — they want to do stuff in fear of litigation.” At that point, the meeting became tense as Shortal answered Lundsten by saying he didn’t think the city’s trust has been violated and then started reading an article about Lundsten’s recent reprimand from the DeKalb Ethics board. “Aww, Denny, that’s perfect,” Lundsten said before Shortal could finish. Many DHA members also spoke up and told Shortal his comment was out of line. Shortal closed the meeting thanking the DHA for its service to the city. He said the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals would receive more training. He also gave a warning. “The developers are sitting and waiting for you to make a wrong move,” he said.

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14 | Community ■

City settles three police-search lawsuits involving same officer Continued from page 1 been shot in the area and that was why he was asking, Muhammad said. A drug-sniffing dog was called in from Doraville, but a lengthy stop resulted in police finding only a cashew can and citing Muhammad for broken light bulbs. Muhammad is one of three men who filed separate lawsuits alleging Laskowski conducted unconstitutional searches during traffic stops in 2013. On March 16 of this year, the city settled all three lawsuits for $45,000 each, while not acknowledging any liability or wrongdoing. “This guy [Laskowski] had a pattern of doing this. You can’t stop someone based on a gut feeling and ignore the law,” said Dunwoody attorney and former cop Mark Bullman, who represented the men. “When there’s a longstanding pattern, lots of people’s rights are being violated,” he said. Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan said that the department has changed its policy and now requires officers to get a supervisor’s approval of any request for a K-9 unit. “Based on a number of factors, the

city of Dunwoody elected to enter into a settlement agreement with each party in all three cases. Settlement agreements such as these are not unusual in government operations,” Grogan said. The city’s insurance provider covered the $135,000 in total settlement, Officer Dale he said. Laskowski The department also now follows a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states, “absent reasonable suspicion, police extension of a traffic stop in order to conduct a dog sniff violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures,” Grogan said. “Our current policy reflects all of the changes mentioned, which were put in place long before the settlement of these cases. All of our sworn staff has been trained in our new policy,” Grogan said in a statement. Laskowski, one of the Dunwoody Police force’s original officers, received the training with other staff and remains on the force. He has received no

additional training, Grogan said. Grogan said Laskowski is not available for comment. The police department cleared Laskowski of any wrongdoing in Muhammad’s case, according to an internal police document provided by Bullman. MuJermaine hammad was Muhammad the only one of the three lawsuit plaintiffs who filed a police complaint, Bullman said. The city of Doraville settled for $15,000 with each man before a lawsuit was filed, Bullman said.

Controversial searches

The police searches of Muhammad, Joseph Anderson and Daniel Green had similarities, according to their lawsuits. They were detained for at least 30 minutes and subjected to the Doraville drug dog sniffing after refusing to allow vehicle searches. “He asked me why did I mind having my car searched if I didn’t have any-

thing … and I said because [he] pulled me over for a cracked windshield,” Muhammad said of his June 17, 2013 stop. On a police dashboard video of the traffic stop provided by Bullman, Laskowski is heard saying, “Something just ain’t sitting right with me about this guy. Maybe it’s just that I’m amped up about complaints with people that I’ve dealt with today, but he just looks like the kind of guy who would, when K-9 arrives, he would try to run or something or gambling that the dog won’t hit on anything.” The police dog “alerted” on something in the trunk and Muhammad sat on a curb for nearly an hour while the officers searched his entire car, emptying all his possessions onto a sidewalk. They eventually found an empty can of cashews in the trunk that they told Muhammad smelled like marijuana. “They had seven police cars respond to a cracked windshield … and they found nothing,” Muhammad said. “There was no apology, no trying to reconcile, to explain why they took such extreme measures.” Muhammad was eventually cited for broken bulbs in his taillights. Those charges were dropped, he said, but he did pay a fine for not changing his address on his driver’s license. Days after the traffic stop, Muhammad filed a handwritten complaint with the DPD and alleged Laskowski stopped him with no probable cause; he also stated “racial profiling is nothing new to me.” Joseph Anderson was returning from lunch on July 2, 2013, to his shift at Walmart on Ashford-Dunwoody Road when Laskowski stopped him for having no or broken covers on his reverse light, according to the lawsuit. Laskowski called the Doraville K-9 unit and the dog alerted on the car, resulting in a search. Anderson was kept from returning to work for more than 30 minutes. Daniel Green was a minor when he was stopped by Laskowski on July 25, 2013. Green had a BB gun in the back seat of his car and told Laskowski about it when asked if he had any weapons. When Laskowski asked to search his car, Green said no. Laskowski called Doraville for K-9 backup. “He’s got his gun all set up in the back of his seat like he’s pulling armed robberies. . . . I’m gonna go up and talk to him a little bit more here, because I don’t know if he’s got anything,” Laskowski can be heard saying on police dashcam video of the stop. Laskowski also said he needed to check Green out because his front tire was “kind of bald,” according to the lawsuit. Green was detained for nearly 45 minutes. DUN

JULY 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Community | 15

Man who posted Louisiana shooting video arrested on Dunwoody warrant BY JOHN RUCH

An Atlanta man who first circulated the video of a controversial Louisiana police killing was arrested the next day by Dunwoody Police officers on an outstanding warrant for traffic offenses. Chris LeDay said he believes his July 6 arrest on the two-year-old warrant was retaliation for posting the video of Alton Sterling’s shooting by Baton Rouge police. Dunwoody Police public outreach officer Mark Stevens said the department knew nothing of LeDay’s video-posting at the time and simply responded normally to a request from law enforcement at Marietta’s Dobbins Air Reserve Base, where LeDay worked and was detained. In a brief interview via Facebook chat, LeDay said Dobbins law enforcement misinformed him that he was wanted for assault and battery, and complained Dunwoody Police treated him like a “deranged psycho killer.” In other interviews, he acknowledged that no officers said anything about the Sterling video. Stevens said Dunwoody Police was truthful about the charges—though allowing that Dobbins law enforcement might not have been—and that his treatment in custody was normal, “not ‘retali-

ation’ as he claims.” assault and battery. They LeDay, originally from said I ‘fit the description.’ Baton Rouge, is a muThe description of who sician and a veteran of and for what took forevthe Air Force. On July 5, er. So basically I was behe posted the video of ing illegally detained for Sterling’s shooting—ob30 minutes before I even tained from a friend in knew what was going Baton Rouge—on his on.” Facebook page to draw He added that Dunattention to it. That vidwoody Police “decided it eo, along with a video of was best to transport me SPECIAL in cuffs and shackles on the Minnesota police killChris DeLay ing of Philando Castile my feet like I was a dethe next day, launched a ranged psycho killer.” new wave of nationwide In a later interview Black Lives Matters protests, including with the “Democracy Now!” TV news an ongoing series of marches in Atlanta. program, LeDay said he was so nervous When LeDay arrived at Dobbins for about the arrest he posted a message to work July 6, he said, military police dehis parents on Facebook to say he was not tained him on the Dunwoody warrant. In resisting police. He also indicated that July 2014, LeDay reportedly was arrested one officer involved is black and that Leby Dunwoody Police on charges of drivDay told him, “Really bro? [It’s] 2016 and ing with a suspended license and withy’all are still allowing us to get shackled?” out proof of insurance or tags, as well as In that interview, LeDay said he bea headlight infraction. A bench warrant lieves he was singled out for “exposing for his arrest was issued when he failed the underhandedness of BRPD [Baton to appear in court. He reportedly faces Rouge Police Department] cops and that more than $1,200 in fines. low-down murder that they just commitWhen the military police detained ted on camera.” him, LeDay said, “the original word to “Our department was not aware of Mr. me was I was wanted in Dunwoody for LeDay’s location until asked to confirm

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the warrant [by Dobbins law enforcement],” said Stevens at Dunwoody Police. “Our department was also not aware that Mr. LeDay had posted any type of video online. Mr. LeDay’s arrest was a direct result of his failure to appear at the Dunwoody Municipal Court and was not ‘retaliation’ as he claims.” Stevens said Dunwoody Police never told anyone LeDay was wanted for assault and battery, while adding “it is certainly possible that another [agency’s] officer provided incorrect information to Mr. LeDay.” Leg shackles are not standard procedure in this type of arrest, but in this case was LeDay’s own choice, Stevens said. He said the Dunwoody officer offered to cuff LeDay’s hands in front of him—a less secure but more comfortable position— during the ride to jail, and in exchange to wear leg shackles as well. “Mr. LeDay made the decision to remain handcuffed in the front and to wear leg shackles,” Stevens said. In recent Facebook posts, LeDay indicates he has been suspended from or lost his Dobbins job. Stevens said LeDay is currently slated to appear in Dunwoody Municipal Court on the 2014 traffic charges, but that he can choose to move the case to DeKalb County State Court.

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16 | Out & About ■

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Wednesday, July 27, 7:30 p.m. Peachtree Road United Methodist Church presents organist Martin Baker, from Westminster Cathedral in London, part of the Atlanta Summer Organ Festival. Baker performs works by Bach and Widor. Reception follows concert. $15 donation requested at the door. 3180 Peachtree Rd., NE, Atlanta, 30305. For more information, visit: or call 404-266-2373.



Olympic Games. Compete throughout the Atlanta History Center’s 33-acre campus at various Olympic sports for the chance to win 1996 Olympic memorabilia. Free for center members; included in the cost of general admission for non-members. Go to: or call 404-814-4000 for details. 130 W. Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta, 30305.



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4890 Roswell Road, Suite B-10 • Atlanta, Georgia 30342 (404) 835-3052 • Located at the corner of Roswell Road & Long Island Drive Saturday, July 30, 8 a.m. Pound the pavement for a cause! The Charity Benevolent Fund’s fifth annual Back to School 5K Run/ Walk comes to Keswick Park in Chamblee. Certified course offers rolling hills and a trip through Keswick neighborhood. $30-$35. Rain or shine. Proceeds help provide backpacks, notebooks, pencils and other school supplies to needy students. Register: active. com or Questions? Email: cbf@ or call 478-986-4908. 3496 Keswick Dr., Chamblee, 30341.


Friday, Aug. 5, 5-7 p.m. Dive into Shabbat at the Marcus Jewish Community Center-Atlanta. Open swim and activities begin at 5 p.m., followed by Shabbat songs and blessings with Rabbi Glusman at 6 p.m. Bring your own food; purchase drinks. Free challah, grape juice and ice pops for kids. Free admission. Open to the community. Learn more:, call 678-812-4161 or email: 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.

FOR KIDS PARROT POWER Monday, July 25, 1111:45 a.m. See beautiful live birds talk, do tricks, give kisses and even sit on your arm. Park behind the Brookhaven Branch Library and enter at the lower level. Free. The public is welcome. Suitable for all ages. Open to the first 30 participants. Call 404-848-7140 to sign up or for an appointment for a group of five or more. 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319.

BR’ER RABBIT Tuesday, July 26, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Join Br’er Rabbit and his friends for 40 minutes of stories, music and humor in this new production by a solo puppeteer. Free. Suitable for ages 3 and up. Open to the community. No registration required. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Email: or call 404-3036130 for details.

COOL IT! Saturday, July 30, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Grab your tennis shoes and participate in a celebration for the 20th anniversary of the Centennial

Tuesday, July 26, 1-2:30 p.m. Have you ever wondered how the food in your refrigerator stays cold? Why does cooling off in a swim-

Continued on page 18

JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Out & About | 17

Northwest Georgia offers visions of other places, other times 2



3 5

BY JOE EARLE A drive up I-75 may call to mind places to pick your own apples or watch the leaves change color in the fall, but there’s much more to see. Northwest Georgia can show you surprising things: dinosaur skeletons and space capsules; folk artist Howard Finster’s exotic visions of distant worlds and celebrations of this one; imagined scenes celebrating cowboy life; and the actual place where an Indian nation prospered before its people were forced to march west on the Trail of Tears. Here are five places you might find worth a trip.


Paradise Garden Summerville

Rev. Howard Finster claimed he “took the pieces you threw away and put them together...” into art. The folk artist, who died in 2001, gained fame by making tens of thousands of works (he numbered them) in order to spread the gospel and his views of this world and others. He also somehow found the time and energy to assemble the extraordinary place known as Paradise Garden. Using concrete, wood, mirrors, discarded tools and bicycles, shards of pottery, baubles and even the liner to a box of chocolates, Finster cobbled together buildings, flowers and colorful sidewalks into a place where visitors casually can stroll through what feels like a piece of another world. The garden now is operated by a nonprofit foundation. Where: 200 North Lewis Street, about

three miles north of downtown Summerville, just off U.S. 27. Take Exit 306 from I-75, turn west on Ga. 140. Turn right on U.S. 27. Take U.S. 27 through Summerville. Look for mile marker 13 and turn right onto Rena Street. Follow the signs and go about three blocks to turn into the entrance to the garden. Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Cost: $15 adults; $10 seniors (55 and older); $5 students; younger than 12, free. For more:, 706-808-0800.

ing, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Cost: adults aged 18 to 61, $7; seniors 62 or older, $6.50; youth aged 6 to 17, $5.50. For more:

Western Art Museum 3 Booth Cartersville


New Echota Historic Site Calhoun

New Echota once housed the capital of another nation. In 1825, Cherokee lawmakers established their capital at this site. During the next decade, it was home to the Cherokee nation’s legislature and courts, and the first Indian-language newspaper. The community also gave its name to the treaty that relinquished Cherokee claims to lands east of the Mississippi River and led to their forced removal to the west on the infamous Trail of Tears. Today, visitors can learn about the history of the Cherokee in Georgia, walk among a dozen original and reconstructed buildings, watch a hand-operated press print a mock newspaper page and even hear a recording of “Amazing Grace” sung in Cherokee. Where: 1211 Chatsworth Highway NE, Calhoun, Ga., 30701. Located in Calhoun one mile east of I-75, Exit 317 on Highway 225. Hours: Wednesdays to Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Thanksgiv-

Cowboys in Cartersville? Why not? The Booth promises one of the largest collections of western art in the South. It features realistic and abstract painting, sculpture and a collection of portraits and signatures of American presidents. A larger-than-life cowboy riding a bucking horse in a sculpture out front sets the tone; inside, works by more than 200 artists examine the mythic west, the modern west and the lives of westerners. Where: 501 Museum Drive, Cartersville, Ga., 30120. Take I-75 to Exit 288. Turn west and follow Main Street (Ga. 113 /61) about 2.2 miles into Cartersville’s business district. Turn right on Gilmer Street, go two blocks under the bridge. The museum is on the left. Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. Cost: adults $10 + tax; seniors (65 and over) $8 + tax; students $7 + tax; children 12 and under free. For more:


Tellus Science Museum Cartersville

Gemstones, dinosaurs, cars, airplanes and space travel are among the scientific subjects touched on in the displays within this sprawling structure in Cartersville. The museum’s exhibits explore places from the center of the Earth to outer space, and examine a century of changes in transportation. Where: 100 Tellus Drive, Cartersville, Ga., 30120. Take I-75 to exit 293. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but closed on major holidays. Cost: adults, $14 + tax; children (3 – 17), $10 + tax; students, $10 + tax; active military, free (1/2 price admission for active duty dependents with ID); seniors (65+), $12 + tax. For more:, 770-606-5700.

History Museum 5 Bartow Cartersville This local history museum focuses on the settlement and development of Bartow County. Visitors can check out Cherokee and pioneer cabins, sit in a one-room schoolhouse or learn about the Civil War and the early textile industry, the museum’s webpage promises. Where: 4 E. Church St., Cartersville, Ga., 30120. Take I-75 north to Exit 288 and drive into downtown Cartersville. Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost: adults, $5.50; seniors/students, $4.50; children younger than 5, free. For more:, 770-387-2774.

18 | Out & About ■ members of the Cancer Support Community. 5775 Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd., Suite C-225, Atlanta, 30342. Go to: for additional details.



Continued from page 16 ming pool feel so good in the summer? Come learn about refrigeration through a simple science experiment hosted by ASHRAE, a nonprofit that sponsors research into HVAC and refrigeration. For those ages 6-12 years old. Free and open to the public. Brookhaven Branch Library, 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319. Call 404-848-7140 to learn more.



ence Room, 269 Buckhead Ave., NE, Atlanta, 30305. Email: or call 404-814-3500 for information.


Wednesdays, July 27, 6-7 p.m. Join others in the browsing area, and relax and unwind, reducing stress and anxiety one coloring page at a time. All materials provided. Free. Open to the community. Suggested audiences: elders, adult, college. Email: comments@co.fulton. or call 404-303-6130 to learn more. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328.

BIRD FRIENDLY Thursday, July 28, 7-9 p.m. Join a potluck dinner starting at 7 p.m. and then listen to Adam Betuel, director of conservation at the Atlanta Audubon Society, who discusses conservation projects and ways to take action. An activity and evening bird walk follows. $5 for Chattahoochee Nature Center members; $10 for general public, age 16 to adult. 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell, 30075. Visit: or call 770992-2055 for additional information.



TEEN MOVIE Wednesday, July 27, 2-4:30 p.m. Join others for a showing of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Rated PG-13. Snacks provided. Free. Open to the first 20 participants. For those ages 13-17. Call the Brookhaven Branch Library at 404-848-7140 to sign up or for an appointment for a group of five or more. 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319.

MAGIC MAN Thursday, July 28, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Awardwinning magical routines, music, audience participation and live animals. Free and open to the community. Geared for all ages. Buckhead Branch Library, in the Confer-

Thursday, July 28, 10-11 a.m. Participants learn the basics about how their small business can contract with government agencies. Free. All are invited to attend. For adults. Registration required by calling 404-303-6130 or emailing: Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328.

Tuesday, July 26, 2-4 p.m. Workshop teaches specific exercises to build new bone and improve balance, as well as postural alignment techniques to increase bone SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT growth. Free. RSVP to 843-1880. For

Friday, July 29, 10-11 a.m. Participants learn SBA loan programs such as 7a, 504, micro loans and community advantage. The basics of the SBA Guaranty Bond Program will also be covered. Free. For adults. Registration required by calling 404-303-6130 or emailing: Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328.

BEGINNING MEDITATION Saturday, July 30, 10-11 a.m. Discover simple and powerful meditation that takes just 12-18 minutes by sitting in a chair. Free. Open to the general public. Previous meditation experience not required. For adults. Email: or call 404-303-6130 for further details. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328.


The following Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates physicians have been named to Atlanta magazine’s list of Top Doctors for 2016: Dr. Girish Anand, Dr. Norman Elliott, Dr. Charles Fox, Dr. Lori Lucas, Dr. Ralph Lyons, Dr. Enrique Martínez, Dr. Kamil Obideen, Dr. Neal Osborn, Dr. David Quinn, and Dr. John Suh | 1.866.GO.TO.AGA [468.6242]

REINVENT YOURSELF Saturday, July 30, 4-5 p.m. Understand the five steps of reinvention and the essential building blocks to reinventing yourself. Free. All are welcome to attend. For adult audiences. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Email: or call 404-303-6130 for details.


Wednesday, Aug. 3, 6:30-8 p.m. Learn about the benefits, risks and limitations of genetic testing. Question-and-answer session follows. Led by a genetic counselor from Northside Hospital. Free. RSVP to 404-843-1880. For members of the Cancer Support Community. 5775 Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd., Suite C-225, Atlanta, 30342. Go to: to find out more.

JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Out & About | 19

Music, comedy and more in local theater companies’ new seasons

Comprehensive Women’s


“We’ll have something for everyone this season,” said Brian Kimmel, MJCCA’s director of Arts and Culture. “We have a whole Three local arts institutions are staging bunch of different sides of Jewish culture. a variety of plays in their 2016-2017 seasons It’s primarily music, and we’ll have Matithat feature comedy, romance and music, syahu, who is pretty well known.” from old favorites to recent hits. CoincidenSantally, Act3 and dy Springs’ the MJCCA inAct3 Produccluded the same tions and Dunplay, “Urinetwoody’s Stage own,” in their Door Players are new seasons. long-running “Urinetown” is community thea comedic musiater groups. The cal set in a time Marcus Jewwhere a water ish Communishortage has led ty Center of Atto a government lanta (MJCCA) ban on private FILE PHOTO in Dunwoody toilets. The citRobert Egizio, producing artistic is hosting condirector for Stage Door Players izens must use certs and other public amenities artistic events, as well as a slate of plays for regulated by a greedy corporation. The MJCadults and families. CA’s staging wrapped up earlier this month, Act3 will launch its season with “The while Act3 will perform the play in April. Fantasticks” playing from Aug. 12-27. The comedic and romantic musical is about a boy and a girl as their fathers try to keep Act3 Productions them apart. “With our upcoming season, we are “The Fantasticks” (Aug. 12-27), “The Women” embracing our intimate theater,” said Mi- (Sept. 16-Oct. 1), “Violet” (Nov. 4-19), “And Then chelle Davis, artistic director for Act3 Pro- There Were None” (Feb. 10-25), “Urinetown” ductions. “At Act3, the audience becomes a (April 14-29) part of the story.” MJCCA, Stage Door Players, located in Dunwoody, “From Head to Toe” (Oct. 30), MJCCA Youth Enwill kick off their season with “Barefoot in semble presents “Xanadu Jr.” (Dec. 11-12), MJCCA Youth Ensemble presents “Schoolhouse Rock the Park” from Sept. 23 through Oct. 16. Live! JR.” (Dec. 13-14), “Broadway Kaleidoscope: “It’s by the classic, Tony-award winning A Musical Revue” (Feb. 5), “A Brown Bear, A CatNeil Simon,” said Robert Egizio, producing erpillar & A Moon: Stories by Eric Carle” (April artistic director for Stage Door. “Audiences 16), MJCCA Youth Ensemble presents “Guys and Dolls JR.” (April 30-May 1), “Disney’s Beauty and can expect non-stop laughter.” the Beast KIDS” (May 2-3) “Barefoot in the Park” is about a newlyStage Door Players wed couple who move into an apartment together after a six-day honeymoon. Com“Barefoot in the Park” (Sept. 23-Oct. 16), “Let edy ensues as they try to play matchmaker Nothing You Dismay” (Dec. 2-18), “Death by Dewith the bride’s mother and due to the crasign” (Jan. 27-Feb. 19), “The Cemetery Club” zy neighbor in the attic. (March 17-April 9), “Boeing Boeing” (May 19-June “It’s familiar for many audiences, so it’s a 11), “Baby Case” (July 14-Aug. 6) nice way to kick off the season,” said Egizio.


Join the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia for a day of exercise, fun and philanthropy! The 2016 Magnolia Run and Walk for Epilepsy is truly fun for the whole family!

Uber and EFGA have teamed up to support epilepsy! Use promo code EPILEPSY for a $20 free ride & Uber donates $5 to EFGA!

WHEN: Saturday, August 20, 2016 TIME: Registration/Packet Pick-Up 7:00am, 5K and 1 mile 8:00am WHERE: Perimeter Mall, Atlanta COST: 5K Timed: $30 / 5K Untimed & 1 mile: $25 before August 15th WHY: Help raise funds and awareness for the 150,000+ Georgians living with epilepsy.

The Magnolia Run provides funding for the crucial programming and services provided by EFGA, including medication assistance, information and referrals, camp scholarships, support groups and more. Without this event and the support of the community this would not be possible.

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20 | Education ■

Christopher Weaver

The Lovett School, senior Christopher Weaver, a senior at The Lovett School, is recognized for being a leader in his school, the surrounding communities, and through starting his own nonprofit, American Heroes for Hire. Not only is he a social entrepreneur and a hard-working student, Christopher is recognized by Brian Howard, Lovett’s associate director of college counseling, as being “one of the most respectful and considerate students you will encounter at Lovett. “ Christopher began American Heroes for Hire through the GivingPoint Institute, an organization in Atlanta that “takes students with certain passions, and provides to them the resources so that they can do positive things in, and for, their communities.” Christopher said he started American Heroes for Hire because he “recognized a major problem that was and still is plaguing the country: veteran unemployment.” His passion for this issue comes from his experiences of working with homeless shelters and veterans organization through his church and Lovett. To solve this issue, American Heroes for Hire will put on monthly job-readiness fairs for mil-

itary veterans to prepare them for the civilian workforce. “The events contain everything from resume building, interview prep, proper attire-fitting, to even working with a search firm to schedule interviews where the veteran would be more likely to receive the position,” explains Christopher. The nonprofit’s first event is planned for this summer. In addition to spearheading the founda-

tion of American Heroes for Hire, Christopher is very active in his school community. Along with starting American Heroes for Hire, Christopher plays football and throws shot-put/discus for The Lovett School. He plays the tuba in the concert band, and is an active member of Vestry, Speech and Debate, Model Arab League, National Honors Society and the Student Service Board. He is also an admissions ambassador at The Lovett School. Christopher has also been honored for his service at his school. He was the recipient of 2016’s Brig. Gen. Burke Whitman Service Award, awarded to a “servant leader” in each grade. “Prior to entering Lovett’s Upper School, he received the Paul Bright Service Award in 8th grade for sustained service-leader-


Christopher Weaver and his mother, Connie, at the GivingPoint Institute’s Sparks event in May. Christopher started American Heroes for Hire to help veterans find employment.

ship throughout his three years of middle school,” notes Howard. Originally from Alabama, Christopher calls himself “a huge Alabama Crimson Tide fan.” He also enjoys deer hunting in the winter. Christopher’s goal for college is to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. If he does not attend West Point, Christopher still plans on participating in ROTC at the college he attends. Christopher plans on having a career in the military after graduating from college. Further

ty uni m m . r co a r s you 15 ye g v i n ver S e r fo r o ed

W 1 str 0 yea e can uct r ura warr offer l co ant a nst y on ruc Ins tio ure n. d

s icen


down the road, he also hopes to earn an MBA and a law degree when he begins his transition back into the civilian workforce. Christopher plans to continue American Heroes for Hire while in college and in the future. Lovett has also offered to fully support his organization as well. To find out more about American Heroes for Hire, visit americanheroesforhire. org. This article was reported and written by Olivia Koenig, a rising junior at Riverwood International Charter School.

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Classifieds | 21

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HELP WANTED Leadership Sandy Springs Program Asst. Essential Duties: Maintain contact data base, including member donations and sponsorships and prepare appropriate reports; Manage banking accounts and handle accounts payable and accounts receivable through Quickbooks; Manage online credit transactions and payroll; Provide administrative support for Exec Dir, YLSS, and Member Programs;Work with Finance Committee and prepare monthly financial reports for the Board of Trustees; Prepare letters and other communication, including mailings to alumni and class members. Familiar with Quickbooks; Salesforce; Joomla; Constant Contact; Dropbox; Word; Excel; Publisher. Special skills; Ability to work on multiple projects at one time and attention to detail. Email


Social media and communications manager, Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce—Ideal candidate should be experienced with all social media platforms, graphic design (including Photoshop) and web design. Communications and general administrative skills are also important in this full-time position, which reports to the chief operations manager. SSPC offers a great work environment and excellent opportunity to meet and interface with people. Contact Jenny Hutchins at 678-443-2990, or email jenny@

Reporter Classifieds will work for you.

Tranquil Waters Lawn Care – Pressure washing, flower beds, trimming, tree/shrubs installation, hauling of debris, pinestraw & mulch. Free estimates. Discounts for Seniors & Veterans. No contracts needed. Call Mike 678-662-0767 or Andrew 678-672-8552. Superb Eldercare – Sharing our mom’s loving caregiver, dedicated, licensed CNA-who delivers TLC with unmatched skills. Available now for F/T private eldercare. Punctual, dependable with own car. References. Email: Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576. Professional House Cleaning - 10+ years of experience. Great references. Call 470270-9123.

Reliable Property Caretaking for your home - while on the market or when you are away. Call Charles at 404-229-0490. Care-Giver – Medical Assistant for Senior/ Child-Care by Mature w/20 yrs. USA experience. College Ed, CPR & First Aid Certification. References Available. Call Mrs. C at 770-329-8896.


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22 | Public Safety ■

Police Blotter / Dunwoody From police reports dated July 11 through July 16. The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website and is presumed to be accurate. „„A 35-year-old Alpharetta man was ar-

rested July 11 and charged with simple assault. According to police, at about 4 p.m. on July 11, an officer responded to a call at the Perimeter Mall parking lot about a fight in progress. The suspect had gotten into a fight with a man and woman. „„A 40-year-old man from California was

arrested July 13 when an officer served a warrant at a residence in the 300 block of Perimeter Center North. An investigation led to the arrest and charge for trafficking methamphetamine. „„On July 15 at 12:40 a.m., police re-

sponded to call of shots fired in a parking lot in the 6800 block of Peachtree Industrial Blvd. A vehicle was seen fleeing the scene and officers initiated a traffic stop. The driver, a 25-year-old Atlanta man, was arrested and charged with theft by receiving stolen property.

LARCENY „„200 block of Perimeter Center Pkwy. –

On July 10, a report of larceny. „„1200 block of Ashford Center Pkwy. –

On July 10, report of larceny from vehicle.

„„4500 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road – On July 11, report of larceny. July 11, report of larceny-shoplifting.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 10, arrest for larcenyshoplifting.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 11, report of larceny-other offenses.

„„1700 block of Tolleson Ct. – On July 10,

4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 11, report of larceny-pocket picking.

July 12, arrest for family-battery/simple assault.

ford-Dunwoody Road – On July 10, arrest for larceny-shoplifting.


„„4300 block of Ash-

ford-Dunwoody Road – On July 10, report of larceny-shoplifting.

200 block of Perimeter Center Pkwy. – On July 11, report of larceny from building. „„

„„100 block of Perim-


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 10, report of larcenyshoplifting. „„4700 block of Peachtree Road – On

July 10, report of larceny from vehicle.


„„100 block of Perimeter Center W. – On

„„4700 block of Ash-

eter Center W.—On July 10, report of larceny-articles from vehicle.

10, arrest for larceny-shoplifting.

„„ 4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 12, report of larceny-articles from vehicle.

arrest for aggravated assault/batteryother weapon. „„2900 block of Wintercrest Way – On


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 14, arrest for probation violation. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 15, arrest for fraud. „„4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 16, arrest for marijuana possession. „„1100 block of Hammond Drive – On

July 16, arrest for larceny-shoplifting.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 12, report of larceny. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 12, report of larceny-articles from vehicle.

B U R G L A RY „„2300 block of N. Peachtree Way – On

July 10, report of burglary-no forced entry-residence.


„„1000 block of Crown Pointe Pkwy.

– On July 12, report of larceny-articles from vehicle.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 11, report of credit fraud.

„„100 block of Perimeter Center E. – On


July 13, report of larceny from building.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 11, report of fraud.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 13, report of larcenyshoplifting.

„„2200 block of Dunhaven Ct. – On July


July 12, report of fraud.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 13, report of larcenyshoplifting. „„4300

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 13, report of larcenyshoplifting. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 14, report of larcenyshoplifting.

11, report of fraud-swindle. „„100 block of Perimeter Center E. – On

A S S AU LT „„1700 block of Tolleson Ct. – On July

10, report of aggravated assault/batteryother weapon. „„5300 block of Northchster Ct. – On July

13, report of assault-simple assault/battery.



block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 14, report of larcenyshoplifting.

„„2400 block of Dunwoody Crossing –


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 15, arrest for larcenyshoplifting.


„„100 block of Perimeter Center E. – On


July 15, arrest for larceny-shoplifting.

ARRESTS „„1200

block of Hammond Drive – On July

On July 10, report of criminal trespass. block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 10, report of lost and found property. block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On July 10, report of damage to private property.



JULY 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Volunteers lend police a hand with Citizens on Patrol BY JAMES BEAMAN

ing a recent patrol, Anderson and Kramer made two residential checks, gave out one handicapped-parking violation warning and helped at four vehicular accidents. The variety of the work is one aspect of COPs that Kramer and Anderson find enjoyable. “We might be going along with absolutely nothing going on,” said Kramer. “All of a sudden there was a single-vehicle accident over on Riverside Drive that took down a telephone pole and wires. We went out there and were a part of a team that closed down Riverside Drive for a couple

On a recent afternoon, Mark Anderson and Nelson Kramer stopped at the scene of an accident on Sandy Springs Circle, where two cars had collided across the street from the Brooklyn Café. They made sure everyone was OK and stopped traffic to allow the drivers to pull into the parking lot and safely figure things out. Anderson and Kramer weren’t just good Samaritans. They are volunteers with the Sandy Springs Police Department Citizens on Patrol program, and helping out in such situations is part of their work. As the name suggests, Citizens on Patrol is a program where volunteer citizens can help patrol the streets. They drive cars outfitted with “Citizen Patrol” decals and orange lights, and wear a specially designed uniform to differentiate them from officers. The COPs are unarmed, canJAMES BEAMAN not make arrests and are not SSPD Citizens on Patrol volunteer Nelson Kramer sworn officers. places a warning on the window of a disabled To become a patrol memparking violator, while fellow volunteer Mark Anderson waits close by in the COPs vehicle. ber, volunteers must complete the 13-week Citizens Police Academy and an additional hours.” 12-week course. “I enjoy being out here,” said Anderson. The Sandy Springs Police Department “I enjoy the interactions with the officers, started its Citizens on Patrol program five and I enjoy just being able to be of assisyears ago in 2011. The Sandy Springs COPs tance to the people who put their lives on program, which has about 50 volunteers, is the line for everybody else.” one of many programs around the country. “Another real pleasure of the program The Dunwoody Police Department is in the is the people in the program,” said Kramprocess of starting its own COPs program. er. “We go out for a number of hours on paAnderson said he was a crew chief on trol and we have a chance to talk and catch a Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter in the Vietup on what’s going on in each other’s lives. nam War. It’s very social.” “I planned on being a New York State Regardless of the enjoyment Anderson Trooper when I got back from Vietnam, and Kramer get out of volunteering in the but my wife said she didn’t want to wait for COPs program, Kramer says they are an asme to come home so long anymore,” said set to the police department. Anderson. “One of the reasons that departments After retiring from IBM after 37 years, are finding this extremely valuable, we free Anderson now owns a photography shop up officers on a regular basis to do higher in Sandy Springs and spends about 100 priority things,” said Kramer. “We save a hours per month working with the COPs. lot of officers’ time. For instance, if there’s Kramer, a frequent partner with Ana storm and trees go down and wires go derson, retired after more than 40 years down, we’ll go and block one or both ends in commercial real estate and now spends sometimes for hours until the tree can be much of his time with the COPs. removed or power lines can be put back up. “I found I really enjoyed this, and I’ve reAnd that frees an officer to go deal with tired, and now I sort of do this full time,” higher priority calls.” said Kramer. “I’m almost embarrassed Capt. Mike Lindstrom, spokesperson for to say it, but I put in about 200 hours a the SSPD, said that the program is valuable month.” in a time of controversy over police shoot“We put in a lot of hours, Mark and I ings. do,” said Kramer. “The department asks “With all that’s going on in current folks to put in eight hours a month.” events, there’s a need for a spokesperson to According to Kramer, the SSPD COPs tell the people that the police aren’t all bad,” contribute about 16,000 volunteer hours said Lindstrom. “Aside from the work that per year to the department. they do, it’s a form of relationship-building Over the course of about four hours durwith the community.”


Public Safety | 23


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7-22-2016 Dunwoody Reporter  
7-22-2016 Dunwoody Reporter