Thursday, November 17, 2016

Dunwoody Police Bulletin still shows all city police activity, DeKalb OJS shows mug shots and at 17 little Johnny is considered an adult.

From an email received this week.    John, on 11/19/2015 you sent out an email regarding the Police Daily Bulletin and transparency. Is that Bulletin available to the public on an ongoing basis? If so, how do I access it online? Not that I have time to read it regularly, but when we have an incident in the neighborhood, it would be nice to have. Pat

Pat, the blog from that date is still up and the link to the Daily Bulletin hasn't changed and the information is still as described in the post. There is also an accompanying page that lets you search for items and arrests within the last week here. The City of Dunwoody has worked very hard from day one to be transparent in everything we do and that includes telling the community what our police department is doing on a daily basis.

In fact the information I raised in the blog regarding 17 year old offenders has come up twice in the last year where several "hooligans" ages 16 & 17 got busted for doing something stupid. The 17 year old (who just celebrated his birthday the month before) is named publicly, booked in the DeKalb County Jail with a permanent record, mug shot taken and the record is now able to be found forever on the DeKalb Online Judicial System webpage. The 16 year old is basically released to his parents and is very thankful that his 17th birthday is still another couple weeks away.

DeKalb OJS is an interesting tool. After picking a category and logging in, you can either search for people in the system by name but I usually just go directly to the "Jail / Inmate Reports" tab and pull the "DeKalb County Sheriff's Office Arrest Log" for the date of interest and from there you can see all arrest information including the mug shot.

Based on issues I have seen with Dunwoody teenagers being arrested, it may be time to once again ask Mr. J Tom Morgan, the former District Attorney for DeKalb County to speak to the community. 
I believe he last spoke to the community in 2012 and it may be time to revisit the issue.

Below is the book written by Mr. Morgan that I highly recommend for both teenagers and parents.

PS: At one time the book was available at the Dunwoody and Chamblee Libraries but at the moment I can't find them in the system.

Through real-life examples, Ignorance is No Defense explains Georgia laws to teenagers in easy-to-understand language. With a primary focus on criminal laws, Ignorance is No Defense not only describes what the law requires but also teenagers’ rights under the law. Author J. Tom Morgan, a highly respected former prosecutor and experienced trial lawyer, provides straightforward information and valuable insights to help teenagers avoid violating the law and avoid being victims of crime.

“There are only four states in the country that treat our teenagers as adults when they’re 17, and Georgia’s one of those four states,” said Morgan, who has spoken to many thousands of teenagers, was on the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, and chaired Georgia’s Child Abuse Prevention Panel.

“I testified before the Georgia legislature last year about raising that age to 18 to fit with the rest of the country, and I’ll never forget what the legislator said: ‘Oh Mr. Morgan, we can’t do that because we don’t want our constituents in Georgia to think we’re soft on crime.”

Morgan said he represented two girls—one 16, one 17—who together shoplifted less than $100 worth of CDs and DVDs from Target. Because one was lawfully an adult at the time, the crime was on her permanent record, while the 16-year-old didn’t have it on hers.

“You’re criminal history starts on your 17th birthday and stays with you until the day you die,” he said. “Don’t screw it up.” (WestCobb Patch - March 2011)

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