Thursday, July 13, 2017

Former Chesnut Elementary student provides outstanding community service as a Dunwoody Police Officer but could he live here today?

Yesterday something crossed my desk that I thought I would share.  I saw a tweet by the Dunwoody Police Department honoring the fact that Officer Castellanos was raised in Dunwoody and attended Chesnut Elementary just blocks from my home.  Unsure of where Officer Castellanos lives today, knowing the caliber of our staff and seeing his beautiful family, I wish he was my neighbor as I believe he should have the opportunity to live back in Dunwoody.   Having police officers available locally is a benefit to the Department and the Community, especially in times of emergency or extreme weather.

The Dunwoody Police Department has a great benefit package for our police officers and we have very high standards for those we hire but the starting pay for a new officer is just above $40,000 therefore living here in town would be very difficult.  With new cities coming on board police salaries across the state have raised therefore Dunwoody works hard to hire the best entry level officers we can find but we need to continually evaluate our benefits package against other departments to set recruitment & retention strategy. 

One of the benefits of being a Dunwoody Police officer is that every officer gets his own take home police vehicle whereby the city pays for the fuel to & from work. Though I agree with this policy, it is also detrimental to encouraging officers to live locally therefore at the start of the city we also pushed for a local residential stipend, currently at $300 per month for those officers who live within the City Limits.  In our budget discussions this year, besides over all salary, I will be looking to have the local stipend raised, will question out of pocket financial costs of the officers and will look to increase tuition reimbursement.  

As a City Councilman, I am always proud to witness a new officer being sworn in to the Department but the churn or turnover of officers leaving for other departments makes me question if we have the right policies in place and I take that responsibility very seriously.  We currently have openings available to be a Dunwoody Police Officer and if you are interested, please apply.

Finally, the City of Dunwoody offers a police explorer program for those teenagers in the community who would like to learn more about becoming a police officer and I highly recommend the program as we need more locally grown officers on the force too.  Thanks for allowing me to serve.  John

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dunwoody Homeowners Association hosts Georgia's Largest 4th of July Parade - kicking off at 9 a.m.

On Tuesday, July 4, 2017 at 9:00 a.m., the Dunwoody Homeowners Association and the Dunwoody Crier Newspaper will host the annual Fourth of July Parade featuring marching bands, floats, clowns, animal units and local celebrities. Last year the parade attracted over 2,500 participants and 32,000 spectators!

This year’s theme is A Small Town In A Big City, and the Grand Marshall is Alan Mothner.

The parade route is two (2) miles, starting at the intersection of Mount Vernon Road and Jett Ferry Road at 9:00 a.m., proceeds west on Mount Vernon Road to Dunwoody Village, turns right onto Dunwoody Village Parkway.

Viewing Information: Parade spectators are encouraged to setup chairs along Mount Vernon Road and Dunwoody Village Parkway (up to the shops on the right and the parade entrance into Dunwoody Village.) Spectators will be blocked from viewing the parade on the east side of Jett Ferry Road on Mount Vernon Road due to the staging and setup for parade participants. Viewing will start on the west side of Jett Ferry Road on Mount Vernon Road.

Dunwoody Boy Scout Troop 764 from St. Luke’s Presbyterian will collect food along the parade route for the Community Assistance Center (CAC) Food Pantry. The troop plans to enter a scouting themed float in the parade and will be pushing grocery carts along-side to collect the food donations.

After the parade join in the fun at the post parade festival in front of the U.S. Post Office in Dunwoody Village for family fun and great food!

Traffic Information: Mt. Vernon Road, between Jett Ferry Road and Dunwoody Village, will be closed from 8:40 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. (times are approximate; contact the Dunwoody Police Department about road closures and traffic information.)