HOUSTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
STATHAM’S LANDING SECURITY PROPOSAL
The dangers to pedestrians and homeowners in Statham’s Landing are a serious matter that require attention. However, the Sheriff’s Office is currently struggling with staffing issues and can only devote so much time to neighborhood patrols. Calls to 911 for service take priority and regular neighborhood patrols can sometimes get overshadowed by a patrolman’s high call volume. The purpose of this security detail is to ensure the residents of Statham’s Landing are able to enjoy the simple pleasures of living in a neighborhood of such stature. Residents and their children should not have to live in fear of reckless motorists every time they decide to take a walk or play outside near the road.
After speaking with several residents in the neighborhood, the idea for this security detail was born and put into effect for a six-month trial period. At the end of the six months, traffic infractions inside the neighborhood had tanked at a tremendous rate. When we began the detail in August of 2022, we made 105 traffic stops within a 14-day period. Once the residents, their family members, and contractors learned we were doing a security/ traffic detail in the neighborhood the number of traffic violations dropped exponentially. For each month after August, the number of violations remained under 80. The neighborhood also saw a drastic reduction in the number of thefts/ entering autos. The few cases we did have were able to quickly be solved thanks to our proactive presence in the neighborhood.
Some members of the board believe the neighborhood is not threatened by the criminal activity afoot in Houston County and therefore claim this detail is unnecessary. While it would be nice to live in this utopian style community, the reality is that criminals and reckless drivers do not have the same regard for others as one would like to hope for. It is only a matter of time before those individuals who think “that would never happen to me” become the victim of a crime themselves. However, by doing this detail we are able to drastically reduce the chances of that happening. Proactive patrols and enforcement of minor traffic laws lead to deterrence of criminal activity. When people see that they will be held accountable for their actions or when criminals see police presence on a regular basis throughout the neighborhood, they are less likely to commit crime in the area.
One criticism I heard in the meeting was that certain areas of the neighborhood saw no change in motorist behavior. If this is truly the case, then we should have been notified so we could refocus our attention to that specific area. We received little to no feedback from the board or residents other than complaints about citations and arrests. I also heard someone say that security checks could be called in to the Sheriff’s Office. While this is true, there is no guarantee that the security check will actually be completed. As I stated previously, calls for service take priority and a patrolman may not have enough time in his day to check every security check for his zone assignment. While we were doing the detail, we guaranteed the residents who requested their homes be checked would 1) be added to the regular security checklist for all of patrol and 2) check the homes ourselves each day the resident was out of town.
I understand that one of the main issues for not continuing the detail was that the HOA could not afford it. I have spoken with Bill Taylor about some adjustments to the “trial period” detail we ran previously and will forward them out once they are completed. We appreciate the opportunity to serve your community and look forward to continuing to keep Statham’s Landing safe.
Deputy Kody Barfield
Houston County Sheriff’s Office