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Local business owner: Clarkston has known about park security cameras not working for a while

Clarkston Crime and public safety Trending

Local business owner: Clarkston has known about park security cameras not working for a while

Business owner Shyannon Dibbasey said Clarkston has known that cameras at Milam Park weren't working for at least two years and she's been trying to get the city to address the problem. Photo courtesy of Atlanta News First

Clarkston, GA — After Decaturish first reported that cameras at Milam Park weren’t working during an afternoon shootout on Wednesday, a local business owner contacted Decaturish and said she’s been telling the city about this problem for a long time.

Shyannon Dibbasey said she has been trying to get the city to address the issue.

“The city of Clarkston has been aware of the cameras not being operable at the park for a minimum of two years,” Dibbasey said. “I was the one to alert the Clarkston Police Department to the matter, in which the public works director assured me that the camera parts were on order, but we’re on delay due to COVID-19.”

She provided an email from January to the city council that backs up her claim. Dibbasey wrote, “Could you please inform me as to why the city cameras aren’t working two years after I originally raised the issue…?”

City officials told Decaturish new cameras are on the way.

“We regret that the cameras were not functioning at this time,” Clarkston City Manager Shawanna Qawiy said. “Our city takes public safety seriously and we have invested in a camera system to help deter crime and assist with investigations. We are working towards replacing them as soon as possible to ensure the safety and security of the residents and visitors.”

Decaturish news partner Atlanta News First visited the park yesterday and spoke to Dibbasey and other people who go there.

“I hate hearing stuff like that, especially at a park. You know I know a lot of kids are here and stuff like that during the middle of the day,” one man told ANF.

Dibbasey told ANF she was “flabbergasted” the problem hasn’t been addressed.

“It’s really disheartening,” she said. “This is our only big green space in the city.”

The city is about 1.8 square miles, “so the one place that people can come congregate needs to be kept safe for the community,” Dibbasey added.

Mayor Beverly Burks told ANF that the city is working on it.

“The safety and well-being of Clarkston residents and the public are our concerns,” Burks said. “We will continuously work to have the appropriate protocols and measures in place for our community.”

Clarkston Police also provided additional details about the shoot out.

Clarkston Police arrived at the scene around 1 p.m. on March 29. The park is located at 3867 Norman Road.

“Upon arrival officers discovered an unoccupied and wrecked vehicle between the pool enclosure and tennis courts.  The vehicle was reported stolen on March 24 in DeKalb County,” Sgt. Dustin Bulcher said. “The tag on the stolen vehicle was reported stolen on March 15 in DeKalb County. The stolen vehicle was found to have been struck by gunfire five times. Spent shell casings were located and recovered from the scene in three different calibers, 9 mm, 7.62 and .223.  No victims were located at the scene.

“Eyewitness statements revealed that five vehicles pulled into the park and gunfire erupted shortly thereafter. The stolen vehicle was seen fleeing from the other vehicles before it was wrecked and abandoned, and three males jumped out and fled on foot.  The remaining four vehicles fled from the park, one striking a parked vehicle on its way out.  The vehicle that struck the parked car was bearing a temporary tag that was reported stolen earlier that day. A short time later, the three suspects that fled from the stolen vehicle were located, one was in possession of a firearm.”

Police say the investigation continues.

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