Please carefully read this e-mail in its entirety.
At 7:30 p.m. today, the three Avensong Boards of Directors met with Mayor Lockwood, Acting Public Safety Director Charles Millican, LT. Marietta, and CAPT. McGiboney. The information contained in this e-mail was verified by senior city law enforcement officials. We also obtained permission to share this information with you.
What happened? Last night, two men were shot at 103 Harmony Court. One man was found dead inside the home. The other man was found wounded and taken to a nearby hospital. He is still alive. Both victims were African American males in their early 20s. The perpetrator and the victims were not strangers to one another; thus, this was not a random act of violence. The alleged perpetrator has been identified, and an arrest warrant has been issued for his arrest.
The following details of the case were not released because doing so could compromise the case:
Whether or not drugs were involved or any other possible motive(s).
The names of the alleged perpetrator or victims.
Whether or not a weapon was found.
Whether or not the victims were renters or homeowners.
Whether or not the police have been able to speak with the surviving victim.
Reflections on the Meeting:
As previously mentioned, the alleged perpetrator has been identified, and an arrest warrant has been issued for his arrest. We applaud Milton PD and the GBI for identifying the alleged perpetrator so soon after the crime.
Despite the recent violent crime we have just had, Milton PD still views our neighborhood as safe when compared to other areas in the North Fulton area. Obviously, we have some challenges that we will continue to work on with the help of the city. The city is optimistic and identified an ACTIVE, AGGRESSIVE homeowner’s association and neighborhood watch program as our biggest pluses.
Milton PD recently purchased a K9 police dog which will greatly enhance the department’s ability to investigate drug possession, esp. during routine traffic stops. The dog and officer are currently being trained. This dog will be put to work within a month or so.
We were reminded that routine traffic enforcement is vital to not only make our roads safer, but also b/c studies and experience shows that routine traffic stops often lead to more significant findings of more severe crimes, like drug or illegal gun possession.
We were also reminded that the following are variables that contribute to crime in our neighborhood: Density of our neighborhood and others along the Highway 9 area and the large number of rental homes/apartments, making identification of suspicious activity or persons more difficult (a.k.a. transient population). This is not to say that renters are more prone to commit crime; it merely means that when people come and go so frequently, it makes identifying "suspicious" people and activities more difficult.
Our neighborhood and all the neighborhoods along the Hwy. 9 corridor need to become more actively involved in our city’s future growth and development. As you know, we are currently fighting a gas station at the corner of Hwy. 9 and Deerfield. You can expect these types of re-zoning requests to become more frequent over the next few years.
What You Can Do to Help:
Be vigilant. Report any suspicious behavior or persons to 9-1-1 immediately. Report other suspected illegal activity, such as drug operations, to 9-1-1 also. If you don’t report crime, you can expect it to get worse, not better. Remember that you do not have to give your name.
Encourage your neighbors to register on Avensong’s website (www.avensong.org) to receive updates on crime and other important information. Renters can register too. We want them to become involved in the community in which we all live. The more involved we all become in our neighborhood, the more familiar we will all become with each other. This will make identifying suspicious behavior or persons easier. It costs ~$300 to send a mailer out to the 560+ homes in Avensong, so our budget prevents us from being to communicate with homeowners in the mail on a frequent basis.
Don’t engage in the business of passing rumors. This could add to a sense of fear and reduced neighborhood morale. Verify information with the board, neighborhood watch program chair (Howard Drobes @ firstname.lastname@example.org), or proper law enforcement officials.
Join the Avensong Neighborhood Watch Committee. To join, e-mail Howard Drobes @ email@example.com. Please cc me. These meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of every month at the clubhouse. The minutes are posted on our website. At the beginning of the meetings, recent crimes that occurred in our neighborhood over the past month are discussed. Strategies to fight crime are proposed and debated during these meetings.
We currently do not have enough members in the NW Program to institute neighborhood patrols. With your help, we can partner with Milton PD to let criminals know that Avensong is not a welcome place for them to do business.
Attend the emergency Neighborhood Watch Committee meeting this Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the clubhouse. Howard and I will cover the latest information released on the case. Hopefully by that time an arrest will be made and more details will be forthcoming by city officials.
In the coming days, I will be briefed on any new developments, and I will release this information to you as allowed. At the very least, I will send an e-update every 24 hours whether or not we have any new information.
On a final note, each of you has a stake and role in keeping our neighborhood safe. An unsafe neighborhood will result in lower property values, lower neighborhood morale, and puts the safety of you and your families at higher risk. Failure to keep your properties maintained portrays a community that is "open" to a crime element.
If you choose not to become involved in your neighborhood, then you cannot expect things to get better.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
President, Avensong Community Association, Inc.
Be sure to check out our website at www.avensong.org!