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Tucker invites DeKalb County police liaison to discuss proposed policing reforms

Crime and public safety Tucker

Tucker invites DeKalb County police liaison to discuss proposed policing reforms

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Bonnie Sullivan and John Suggs joined around two dozen other people in a peaceful protest in the City of Tucker June 2. Photo by Dean Hesse.


By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor 

Tucker, GA — Mayor Frank Auman said June 8 at Tucker City Council meeting he received hundreds of emails promoting a national initiative to review police department policies and training to reduce police violence.

The emails are in support of Campaign Zero, which launched “8 Can’t Wait” to bring immediate change to police departments. According to www.8cantwait.org, research shows restrictive use-of-force policies can reduce killings by police.

“In the city of Tucker, we have managed to avoid many of the serious issues that have plagued other departments. As evidence of that, you need to look no further than the corner of Main Street and LaVista last Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoon. I was there every afternoon with the demonstrators,” said Auman. “We stood on that corner, partly in the secure knowledge that we can trust our DeKalb County police dept. They served us well, they continue to serve us well. We are going to continue to respect them.”

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Lt. D.G. Schoeppner, Tucker’s liaison to the DeKalb Police Dept., explained local policies on chokeholds, de-escalation, warning before shooting, use of force, shooting from moving vehicles, and comprehensive reporting. He welcomed constructive criticism and emphasized community dialog efforts, including Coffee with a Cop.

“Our officers are required to act appropriately and lawfully while conducting themselves as a police officer in DeKalb County,” he said. “DeKalb County is very progressive when it comes to issues like this.”

Auman said, “We will continue to look for solutions without disrespecting or dismantling our police department.”

In other business:

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– Council members unanimously passed the fiscal year 2021 budget. The total budget is $23.6M, which includes the general fund, Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) money, capital projects, and taxes from hotels and motor vehicles. Total general fund revenue is $14 million.

– City staff recommended denial of Special Land Use Permit at 3145 Tucker Norcross Road for an auto repair shop due to current conditions of the building structure and parking lot, and lack of landscaping buffers. A second read is planned for June 22.

– City Council members voted unanimously to hire Gaskins Survey for a sidewalk study at Old Norcross Road between Lawrenceville Highway and Spring Glen Drive for $59,500.

– Courtney Smith, the city’s Director of Planning and Zoning, proposed changing the city’s disorderly conduct code in response to a disruptive party on Memorial Day weekend, organized by a professional company that bussed in partygoers to a private home in Smoke Rise area of Tucker. The 13-point regulation is scheduled for a second read on June 22.

– Parks and recreation director Rip Robertson reported a $50,000 grant awarded by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for bridge and boardwalk repairs at Henderson Park, Smoke Rise Park, and Kelley Cofer Park.

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