On the Beat with Lt. Berg

Lt-BergLt. J.W. Berg is Tucker’s liaison to the DeKalb County Police Department and can be contacted by email at jwberg@dekalbcountyga.gov or by phone at (678) 597-9040.

For this month’s article, I’d like to introduce you to three of our newest Tucker Precinct staff members. Our officers are important parts of our community and it is critical for you to know who they are, as well as for them to get to know you. Later in this article, I’d like to reintroduce a feature that longtime readers of this column might remember, the “Police Blotter”. I think you will find this month’s Blotter a little different (and a little lighter) than previous versions.

Even before the COVID crisis temporarily shut down our world, law enforcement agencies nationwide had struggled to recruit and retain good personnel. Unfortunately, the DeKalb Police Department has not been “immune” to this trend, and indeed has experienced a good number of officers departing our department for a variety of reasons. However, over the years our department has been fortunate to have a strong Background and Recruiting Section. These hardworking detectives and support personnel have done an excellent job at finding new and experienced individuals to answer our “call to serve”.

Sergeant Thompson, Officer Lee and Assistant Precinct Commander Captain McCown.

One of the individuals that has answered this call is my new boss, Assistant Precinct Commander Captain Emanuel McCown. Originally from the Bronx, New York, Captain McCown received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. After joining our department in 2007, Captain McCown quickly hit the ground running, rising through our ranks through his hard work and his many well-researched and well thought-out decisions.

Prior to coming to Tucker Precinct, Captain McCown spent several years as the Commander of our Internal Affairs Unit. For those who may not know, our Internal Affairs Unit is an independent unit within the Department which reports directly to the Chief of Police. Our “IA” detectives are tasked with thoroughly investigating officers that may not be following departmental policy or state and federal law. Trust me, our Internal Affairs detectives are determined individuals who do not hesitate to shed light on what we do, both internally and externally when needed. Captain McCown brings this determined sense of duty and integrity with him, together with the empathy of a great leader, to help us manage the professional officers of Tucker Precinct.  

Another great addition to Tucker Precinct arrived here in August. Originally from New York and raised in Florida, Sergeant Adrian Thompson migrated to South Carolina many years ago with his new wife, having met her at the great Florida A&M University. After spending eight years as a sheriff’s deputy in South Carolina and becoming somewhat famous (see various episodes of COPS, season 28), Sgt. Thompson once again became a traveler, looking to find a bit more excitement and glamor here on the outskirts of Atlanta. 

Sergeant Thompson comes to Tucker Precinct after a long stint at our sister precinct, North Central. During his tenure with the Department, Sergeant Thompson spent several years as a beat officer and later moved on to become a detective in our Criminal Investigations Division. Thanks to our Background and Recruiting Unit, we were fortunate to land the experienced and humble Sgt. Thompson several years ago. I am sure we will soon be hearing from the producers of the “Hill Street Blues” reboot to see if Sgt. Thompson is available for a leading role!

Finally, I’d like to introduce the newest member of our Tucker staff, Officer Jumi Lee. Not only is Officer Lee new to Tucker Precinct, she is literally new to the Department, having just graduated from our 126th Police Academy in September. While at the academy, Officer Lee quickly excelled, becoming both the 126th class leader and winning the “Instructor’s Choice” award due to her leadership and strong commitment to learning. 

It’s no surprise that she excelled at the academy. During her previous service in the Army Reserves, not only was Officer Lee awarded the highest academic award in her basic training class, she was also presented with the “Ironclad Award” for her commitment and dedication to learning and physical fitness. Like Sgt. Thompson, Officer Lee is also famous in her own right, having made the State of Georgia’s High School Band as a top oboe player. Who would have thought a top Gwinnett County oboe player would turn out to become an award-winning police recruit in DeKalb County? A big “thanks” again to our Background and Recruiting unit!

After reading these short biographies, I hope you feel as fortunate as I do to have these three individuals join our already strong team at Tucker Precinct. Not only are these three superstars very intelligent and hardworking individuals, they all have a sincere mission to serve and protect the citizens of this community.

Police Blotter

Taking a Snooze

On October 18, Tucker Precinct officers responded to a residential location off Old Norcross Road. The caller was concerned about an individual’s health due to his vehicle not having been moved in quite a while. The complainant was also concerned due to the large number of vultures sitting on the roof of the home. 

Upon their arrival, the officers were able to make contact with the occupant who stated he had been “asleep”. There was no explanation for the abundance of vultures observed on the roof.

Know Your Surroundings

On October 18, a Tucker Precinct Officer on the way back to the station observed a vehicle disregard a red light on Lawrenceville Highway. Unfortunately, the traffic signal was directly in front of Tucker Precinct. When stopped, the driver was revealed to not have a driver’s license. He was subsequently arrested and taken to the DeKalb County Jail. 

Fortunately, the vehicle was able to be released to the driver’s brother, who was found to have a valid license. While driving the vehicle away, the driver’s brother did stop at the red light in front of Tucker Precinct.

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