On August 10, our officers had just finished an eventful shift and were back at the precinct getting their paperwork checked and unwinding a little before heading home. We all shared some of the stories from the day’s events and had a few laughs. One by one we started to leave the precinct to head home, not realizing that it would be the last time for one of us. Just a few short hours later, most of us were startled awake with a phone call delivering the terrible news: Officer Miguel Anchundia had passed away in the middle of the night at his home. Not knowing if we were still dreaming or not, we began calling each other, hoping above all else that the information was wrong. Tragically it was not, and we all slowly began to process the fact that another one of our coworkers and friends was no longer with us.
Officer Anchundia started with the DeKalb County Police Department on May 5, 2008. After completing the academy, he was assigned to Tucker Precinct where he breezed through field training and left a very positive impression on his training officers. He quickly established himself as a level-headed officer who was knowledgeable in his job performance and could be trusted by his supervisors to complete whatever task was assigned to him without supervision. His co-workers also took notice and he soon became the go-to officer for daily questions from his peers about routine and mundane tasks that the officers did not want to bother their sergeant with. Being bilingual also proved to be an indispensable trait that resulted in many officers relying on him routinely as a translator within the community.
His proactivity and ability to handle any situation with poise and ease soon caught the attention of the precinct command staff and he was assigned to the precinct’s Field Investigative Team. He immediately clicked with the unit,and, together, they thrived off each other. Though he consistently led the unit with his production, they all worked together as a cohesive team. It was this camaraderie that kept him with the unit for several years until his untimely passing.
Officer Anchundia was a dedicated officer, a loyal friend and an amazing father. He worked tirelessly to bridge the gaps between the police and the Hispanic community. He took special time to always interact positively with children – understanding the need to reach the next generation and reinforce the fact the police are here to help. The loss of Officer Anchundia will send a ripple through us all for years to come. On August 10, the county lost a dedicated public servant, the department lost an outstanding police officer, Tucker Precinct lost a well-liked and respected coworker and many officers lost a beloved friend. Rest now, brother, though you will be greatly missed. Your loss has left us shaken, but be in peace and know we will hold the line from here.
PROACTIVE AND OBSERVANT POLICING – On August 7, Officer Ingram and his rookie Officer Prince were patrolling in the area of Mountain Industrial Boulevard and Highway 78 when he witnessed a white Nissan Maxima traveling northbound. The vehicle did not have a valid tag and matched a “look-out” for a vehicle that had been used in multiple armed robberies across DeKalb County. He initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle at Hugh Howell Road and pulled into the BP gas station. Upon approaching the vehicle, he witnessed two juveniles not properly secured in their seats in the back. Once an additional unit arrived, they pulled the male passenger out of the vehicle for safety and conducted their investigation. During the investigation, they discovered a firearm in the vehicle, illegal narcotics and that the male was a convicted felon. CID conducted their follow-up investigation and determined that the male was the same suspect from the armed robberies. Through their investigation, they arrested another suspect tied to this and cleared 15 armed robberies in DeKalb County. It appears these two suspects committed additional armed robberies in other jurisdictions in the area.
OFFICERS ARE NEVER OFF-DUTY – On August 12, Tucker Precinct received a report of a stolen van off Granite Drive. A description of the vehicle was broadcast over the radio so officers could be on the look-out. Later that same day, Officer McGill had just finished his shift and was on his way home when he noticed a similar vehicle with a couple of motorcycles in the back unsecured. When he ran the tag on his computer, he discovered that the tag did not belong on the vehicle. As the vehicle got onto I-285, he attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle, however, the vehicle refused to stop. Officer McGill then maneuvered his vehicle in front of the van and forced the van to stop. Once stopped, the driver jumped out of the vehicle and started to flee on foot. Officer McGill also jumped out of his vehicle and ordered the driver back into the van. According to the officer, “He looked at me with glaring eyes, as if to size me up, and then sat back inside of the vehicle.” The suspect was then taken into custody without incident. Upon checking the two motorcycles, it was ascertained that both had been reported stolen, as had the van.