One of the most important decisions we had to make in helping Tucker to incorporate as a city was what to do about public safety. Tucker’s never been a “dangerous” place. As long as I’ve lived here, you can walk up Main Street at any hour of the day or night and never have to look over your shoulder. But there was a debate over how to police ourselves: do we stay with DeKalb County Police and all the training and resources they bring to the table or do we start from scratch and create our own police force?
We chose to stay with DeKalb and it’s a decision that continues to pay dividends. This Spring, we sat down with Chief James Conroy and Major Greg Padrick and reimagined what policing in the City of Tucker could look like. The result was a new intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the City and DeKalb Police that takes one of DeKalb’s four police precincts – the aptly named Tucker Precinct – and redraws the boundaries to ensure the entirety of the City of Tucker is policed by that same precinct. Even more, the Captain and I swore in DeKalb Police officers to enforce the City’s ordinances when crimes are committed within our boundaries and you’ll see “Tucker Precinct” written on the doors of police cars that serve our City.
Why does this matter? When we try and market Tucker as a place for people to call home, one of the first questions they’ll ask is about crime. We consider ourselves among the safest communities in Metro Atlanta, but we want to take steps to become the safest. Additionally, public safety is a major consideration for businesses looking to relocate to Tucker. Not only can we tout our relationship with DeKalb Police, but also the work of our Community Improvement Districts (CIDs). The Stone Mountain CID, which covers much of our industrial corridor, has regular security patrols. The Tucker-Northlake CID, which includes Main Street and has more retail membership, is looking into funding security patrols. Not to mention when there’s an incident requiring large-scale response (see page 3), our police force is able to respond without hampering regular patrols in other parts of the City.
The results of this collaboration are obvious to any potential resident or business owner. And it’s something that our existing stakeholders can testify to: Tucker is a city where safety comes first.