Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dunwoody police ease access to gated communities & apartment complexes.


Dunwoody police are using new sensors that allow them to now quickly respond to emergencies.

Up until last week, officers had to track down property managers or have a code to get into gated communities, but now gates automatically open for them as they approach an entrance.

“It was an issue that was chronic. Officers would have to ask for gate codes to the complex and it’s those little delays from one to five minutes of you getting to call and if it’s a fight in progress or robbery call, time is of the essence and we need to be in there right away,” said Officer Timothy Fecht with the Dunwoody Police Department.

One Dunwoody resident told Channel 2’s Craig Lucie that he has spotted officers locked out.

“I’ve seen a police officer try to get in the gate during an emergency, and it looked really problematic because they had to yell at someone to get in. Now it’s so much better,” said resident Marc Ford.

Fecht told Lucie that officers always ran into problems getting in.

“Unfortunately when new management comes in, they change the codes and we wouldn’t have access to those gate codes. We would have to call somebody or contact the management the next day and say what’s your current gate code?” Fecht said.

At $400 to $500 a piece, Dunwoody City Council passed an ordinance requiring every gated community to have a Siren Operated Sensor or SOS. They use radio frequency identification technology or RFID to emit a signal from the sensor in the officer’s car to a small antenna mounted on a gate.

Police can adjust the sensitivity so they can open from 10 feet away or up to 150 feet away. Dunwoody police say they are now looking to help other departments.

“We are also going to reach out to fire department and provide DeKalb fire with the devices for trucks that way EMS and the fire department can get in there as well," Fecht said.

Dunwoody police are paying for the devices.

The city says all gated communities, which there are more than 30 in Dunwoody, will have to have the sensors installed by March of next year.


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