Decatur High safety meeting: first impressions

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt September 5, 2013

I’ll follow this up with a lengthier post, but I wanted to give you a couple of quick thoughts about tonight’s meeting at Decatur High.

City Schools of Decatur and Decatur Police called the meeting after three Decatur High students were robbed after Friday’s football game.

Here’s what I saw:

– Parents are clearly rattled by what happened. That’s to be expected. I spoke to the parents of one of the victims and they said their daughter is doing fine. Glad to hear it.

– Principal Lauri McKain said that school officials are considering using metal detectors at home football games.

– Decatur Police said there were at least 15 officers in the area on Friday, more than usual because they were getting ready for the Decatur Book Festival. Despite the increased police presence, the suspects were able to get away because stealing a phone limited the victim’s ability to call 911 after the robberies occurred.

– The suspects approached some of the victims to ask for the time and the victims, being the helpful Decatur students they are, pulled out their phones to check.

– Sgt. Jennifer Ross, spokeswoman for Decatur PD, said the general uptick in iPhone thefts has to do with increased demand in countries like China and Africa. They are easy to steal and fence, making them attractive targets for criminals. She said unless people download the “find my phone” app before¬†their phone is stolen, the police have no way to track it.

– Ross described a scene that was a bit chaotic due to the delay between the robberies and victims dialing 911. By the time the third report came in, the suspects were leaving the area. Because the students were walking, it took several minutes for them to get home and then call 911.

– I suggested to one or more people that it might be a good idea to put out a few 911 call boxes around the high school, particularly along the walking trail. I don’t know what the cost would be, but I bet you could get AT&T or Georgia Power to sponsor them. Ross said if the police had received reports earlier they might’ve been able to catch the suspects before they left town. That idea made sense to a few people, so I hope it goes somewhere.¬†

More in a little while. Gotta jog before it gets too dark …

Oh, some better lights along that PATH trail would be nice, too.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

New Ben Ad
Banner Decaturish 300x250_April
Decaturish_300x250 V. 3
DeKalb_Medical-DMPG-300x250 (1)

Receive the Daily Email DIgest

* = required field