FLOWERY BRANCH – A first step to help small-town law enforcement has been approved in southern Hall County.
This past week members of the Flowery Branch City Council heard from Police Chief David Spillers about the rapidly growing needs in his department to keep pace with the city’s rapidly growing population.
It seems not just people looking to build a new house who have discovered Flowery Branch; criminals have also.
At Thursday evening’s city council meeting Spillers called the statistical fact that Flowery Branch has fallen from the ranks of safest cities to live in Georgia to #47-safest as “detestable”.
In a step to reverse that trend the city council unanimously approved nearly $3000 for a contract with “Leads On-Line” for web-based services linking the Flowery Branch Police Department to a shared nationwide network of crime information.
“It’s an investigative tool that the Police Department would use,” Spillers said as he began his request before council members. “It gives us access to real-time information that is gathered by pawn shops coast to coast.”
Spillers said his department is somewhat familiar with the investigative service the website provides because a portion of it is provided for Flowery Branch’s use by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
“The GBI is invested in this particular company to the point where they (GBI) provide secondhand information to all the local police departments and sheriffs’ offices for the purpose of (helping) scrap metal dealers,” Spillers said.
“But we have to fund our own bit of it if we want the information regarding pawn shops.”
Spillers said his department has used pawn shop information to solve several crimes over the past year, “…but the situation there is we’ve had to borrow…the (Hall County) Sheriff’s Offices system. We can’t let that continue.”
“Council may remember there were a rash of ‘entering-autos’ that occurred in Sterling (on the Lake Subdivision) one night a couple of months ago, and the first firearm that was recovered…came as a result of a hit from ‘Leads On-Line’.”
“We didn’t get that information until a few days later; we would like to be able to get right then and there on the spot, and that’s the reason for this request,” Spillers said.