The Carrollton Fire Department has responded to 5,065 calls in 2017 with an average response time of 4:44 minutes while the Police Department answered 38,293 calls from last January to September.
City Manager Tim Grizzard praised both departments and their leaders while highlighting some of their achievements.
“Our Police Department’s successes are nothing short of amazing,” Grizzard said. “Close cooperation with other agencies have allowed Carrollton to arrest the perpetrators of violent crimes from as far away as Texas.”
The police have 12-hour patrol shifts with seven officers on each day shift and nine on each night shift. There are also two school resource officers, five traffic officers. Two officers are assigned to the evidence/property/lab and one officer is assigned to the Carrollton Housing Authority.
The city has four bike officers who patrol the GreenBelt and the shopping centers, along with other areas.
“These officers also provide bicycles to underprivileged children and to the people in the Carroll County Re-Entry program,” said Grizzard of the bike patrol. “The Re-Entry program is for convicted felons who have served their time and are trying to transition back into normal life. These bicycles are for men who find a job but have no transportation. The bicycles are donated by Carrollton Wal-Mart.”
The department has one officer detached to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations drug task force and 12 officers assigned to Criminal Investigations.
“Three officers are assigned to our in-house narcotics unit which is a joint venture with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office,” said Grizzard. “This unit provides four deputies along with one officer from the University of West Georgia Police. The Police Department works closely with Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center, formerly known as the West Georgia Rape Crisis Center, where Chief Joel Richards serves on their board.
“The Police Department also works with the Carroll County Emergency Shelter which provides a safe place for victims of domestic violence. The department supports the Carroll County Child Advocacy Center who assists investigations by conducting forensic interviews on children who are sexually, emotionally and physically abused. This department works constantly to build and maintain a positive relationship with the community.”
Two citizens academies were held in 2017, one of which was for the clergy. Those academies taught the laymen the difficulties of law enforcement and how careful and diligently the police work to respect the rights of all citizens. They also host a clergy luncheon where local pastors come together along with community leaders to discuss issues in the community.
Grizzard commended the department on its annual youth and special needs camps, another joint venture with the Sheriff’s Office.
Grizzard said the Police Department’s new evidence building and laboratory now have enough room to house the volume of property and evidence that must be maintained.
“This new facility meets the guidelines governing the retention period of evidence,” he said. “The laboratory can process a variety of latent evidence through different chemical processes, such as Cyanoacrylate Fuming. It further includes a bullet trap which allows evidence officers to fire rounds safely to collect shell casings to be sent to the state crime lab for entry into NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network). The lab is also used for the weighing and identification of marijuana using microscopy and chemical testing, macro photography used in latent processing, and a downflow hood used to dust items for prints. There is also a specialized garage which is used to disassemble and examine a vehicle that has been used in the commission of a crime.”
Grizzard said the department’s new crime scene van allows the Crime Scene Unit to be more efficient in the documentation and preservation of evidence.
“This van contains equipment to document blood spatter, plaster cast of foot/tire wear, trajectory, latent prints, DNA collection, and trace evidence collection,” he said. “Additionally, the new crime scene van is equipped with a metal detector, sift equipment, scene barriers, presumptive blood tests, chemicals that react with latent blood to cause it to luminance, alternate light sources, lighting equipment, protective equipment, packaging materials, and kits designated for the collection of certain evidence, for example, sexual assault kits, gunshot residue, buccal swab kits for known DNA samples. There are also tools that allow areas of a car to be accessed to recover evidence or to cut into walls of a structure to recover evidence like a bullet slug.”
Grizzard also reviewed the city’s Fire Department, which averages 422 calls per month or about 14 per day and operates daily with four engine crews, a ladder truck crew, and administrative staff. There are 62 full-time firefighters and a full-time fire marshal.
Grizzard reflected on how Fire Station 22, formerly located located on Brumbelow Road, was destroyed by a tornado last spring and had to be torn down. That station had been there since the 1970s. The city has since acquired new property and construction is under way on a new station on the corner of University Drive and Lovvorn Road. Grizzard said the new station will better serve residents. The station’s 22 firefighters who were displaced, and their equipment, are temporarily housed at the City Hall Fire Station 21 where they are still operational and available to respond.
“As mentioned last year, property owners within the city of Carrollton’s fire district continue to benefit from our improved ISO rating,” said Grizzard. “Last year, we received the Insurance Services Office (ISO) top rating of Class 1. This rating has been achieved by less than one-fourth of 1 percent of fire departments nationwide and is one of only a few in Georgia. The ISO currently evaluates over 50,000 fire departments nationwide. This rating is published by the ISO and used by most U.S. insurers to determine insurance premiums for homes and business properties. Carrollton’s class one rating will save the citizens of Carrollton millions of dollars in insurance costs. This rating reflects the city’s commitment to provide the very best public safety services to its citizens and to save lives and property.”
The Fire Department provides emergency medical care and a Hazardous Materials Response Team. Grizzard said the Haz/Mat Response Team is classified as a Georgia Emergency Management Agency Type II Team which means that they are equipped and prepared to respond to incidents involving fuels, chemicals, radiological materials, biological agents, and weapons of mass destruction. The response team is also capable of detection and identification of chemicals including solids, liquids, gases, biological, radiological, nerve gases, mustard gases, and blistering agents.
“In our community outreach programs, this year the department provided 1100-man hours of public education programs about fire safety, home safety, school safety, fire extinguisher use, CPR, first aid, automatic external defibrillator use, preventive health care, severe weather preparedness and industrial fire brigade training,” Grizzard said.
“Over the past year, our training department has worked to improve our firefighter’s capabilities by providing advanced training and educational opportunities. The majority of our firefighters have received advanced training in firefighting, rescue operations, hazardous materials and emergency medical care.”