On the Beat with Lt. Smith

LT. SmithOn June 13th, DeKalb officers from our SWAT Team, Narcotics Unit and Tucker Precinct assisted a multi-agency unit in executing a search warrant at a residence on Morris Avenue off of Lawrenceville Highway. Several Tucker residents saw the police response (including what some called a “police tank”) and even posted about it on Facebook. Because the operation was still ongoing and resulted in additional search warrants at other locations being served, I asked those who created the posts to remove them until we could complete the operation. I did this not only for officer safety reasons, but for operational security, as well (we didn’t want additional suspects arming themselves and fortifying their locations in case we came to them). Those that created the posts graciously removed them and offered their support for us and for this operation. Now that it has concluded, we are able to share some of the details.

The officers involved were executing a search warrant for narcotics and, because of some of the initial intelligence on the location, we took additional safety precautions during the incident. This included using “The Beast”, which is actually just an armored personnel carrier used to provide our first-line officers with the highest level of armored protection. In the event that suspects began shooting at officers, this would completely protect them as opposed to body armor or shields, which have weak spots. It also has the added benefit of appearing intimidating and can sometimes lead suspects to comply just by seeing it.

DPD Swat Beast During this operation, officers were able to safely make entry into the residence and detain two individuals without incident. Once the scene was safe, the detectives then executed the search warrant and were able to locate large amounts of marijuana, methamphetamines and other narcotics. They also discovered and seized 18 firearms that were concealed and placed throughout the entire residence. Several of these firearms had also been reported stolen and none of them should have been in the residence.

So although the appearance of “The Beast” in our community may alarm and trouble some, it is a necessary safety measure that protects our officers and is an effective law enforcement tool. Again, I appreciate those that took their social media posts down and am happy to report that our community is safer as a result of this operation which removed three violent felons from our streets.


NOT JUST A STOLEN TAG  – On May 23rd, Officer Crego was patrolling in the area of East Ponce de Leon Avenue and Central Drive when he observed a Honda Accord with a stolen tag that had eluded himself and other officers over the last couple of weeks. He was able to follow the vehicle until they pulled into a parking lot where additional officers assisted in making a traffic stop. During his investigation, he discovered that the driver had several outstanding warrants for her arrest. Although the tag on the vehicle was stolen, the vehicle had not been reported stolen at that time. While detaining the driver, she advised the officer that she had information on a recent homicide in DeKalb County and wanted to speak with detectives. She was transported to headquarters and spoke with homicide detectives where she provided crucial information on an outstanding homicide. This information produced several additional leads that assisted the detectives in identifying two murder suspects and obtaining warrants for their arrest. Several agencies are now attempting to track these individuals down and bring them to justice.

KEEP CALM WHILE DRIVING – On June 9th, Sergeant Parker was patrolling in the area of Lawrenceville Highway and 285 when he was flagged down by a motorist. The driver stated that he had observed the vehicle stopped at the next traffic light pull out a gun while on the highway and point it at another driver during a road rage incident. The officer caught up to the suspect’s vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. During his investigation, he discovered that the vehicle had been involved in a road rage incident, the passenger was in possession of a loaded firearm and the passenger was a convicted felon. The passenger was arrested and the firearm was seized from the scene.

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