Sunday, December 5, 2010

To Catch a Thief

Wasn't going to write this. Was going to let the investigative process play out. Was going to "trust" that our system would surely be capable of handling this on their own. Without nagging from parents. Without help from a real police department. Without an embarrassing expose in the AJC. But, now that it has been more than a month since Henderson Middle School was victimized in a highly suspicious case of theft -- apparently the 2oth in a string of highly suspicious DCSS thefts, and we appear no closer to solving this crime...

And seeing others on another unrelated thread starting a conversation about internal crime, I thought it may be interesting to start our own "crime watch" and ask those of you in schools that have had recent significant thefts to please post the details here. Time frames (or exact dates), what was stolen, suspected method of entry, what you're being told about the investigation, etc. Maybe if DCSS security can't find a common theme in their investigations, this blog thread will lead an amateur sleuth onto a promising criminal trail.... Or empower an internal whistle blower, or encourage someone with insider knowledge of these crimes to do the right thing and turn the jerks in. Okay, that may be very wishful thinking... but a full accounting of this outrageous crime spree would certainly sell newspapers (IMHO). But should DCSS really have to be shamed into solving and prosecuting this? Shucks, I hope not.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

A certain Elementary School in East Dekalb has had an issue of stealing sick days from faculty and staff. Between October and November, educators have had sick leave from the 2009-2010 contract year removed resulting in some teachers having significant amounts of money removed from their checks. According to Georgia law, this is a violation of contracts, as usual, DCSS is ignoring this claiming bookkeeper error.

Anonymous said...

The problem with a post like this is the assumption that we know anything about the investigation to post. My elementary school experienced three break-ins last year. The second break-in happened the night that the computers were replaced from the first.

Staff in the building were never given any information about the break-ins - if you found out they happened, it was through the rumor mill and the fact that the computer lab was closed. The third break-in involved the laptop cart in the media center. Again, only if you heard the rumors do you know.

Investigation? There was an investigation? We have no clue.

No Duh said...

Anon 12:51. My hope is that posters such as yourself will identify your school and as much reasonably factual detail as you are capable of sharing. Can't tell if you are a teacher/staff member at your elementary school. But, even parents who have communicated with the school administration can share what they have been told or shown.

Of course, I'd rather people who have heard from a friend of a friend about what "happened" not post until they can confirm the information.

I also don't expect to be privy to details of the "investigation." My hope is that the aggregate of info we can shine light on with this blog will at least provoke our BOE members to do their own investigating (poking and prodding, or whatever they are within SACS ethical bounds to do) to get a straight answer out of DCSS about why this is happening, why it isn't being stopped and whose head should roll.

And, by the way, these laptops have serial numbers. Anyone at DCSS been to the local pawn shops? Mom and pop computer stores? etc...

No Duh said...

Also, thanks Anon 12:43. I feel your pain. I hope it can be resolved through the accounting process. I am hoping to reserve this thread for a discussion of actual criminal theft of property from our school buildings.

Anonymous said...

There is something everyone can do. If you see a car or truck parked outside a school at a time when it shouldn't be or, if you see suspicious behavior on or near school property, especially after hours, call the police. Don't underestimate the power of the local community to stop these thieves.

Anonymous said...

@12:43PM

Employees should download and save their monthly pay stubs for future reference. With all the goofiness going about in payroll and human resource, it would be easy to shave off $10.00 here or there AND a couple hours of leave now and then.

Some teachers already found mistakes with their step increases and others conjecture that the County has not passed on the State's meager increases in a forthright manner!

It's a darn shame when you have to stress about either the competence or the honesty of your employer. A dirty darn shame!

Anonymous said...

Call the DEKALB county police. Don't bother with the school system police.

Anonymous said...

And then there are the insider jobs where innocent people are set up due to personal vendettas, and the only "job" the internal investigtors are interested in is sealing the fate of the innocent and protecting the guilty. Anyone interested in these kind of facts? Hopefully, the district attorney's office will be interested.

Anonymous said...

I think it's time to pull all funding of the DCSS police department. Maybe we can send that money to the DeKalb Police Force to take over the operation.

DCSS has proved once again that they are incapable of policing themselves. Ron Ramsey needs to be shown the door and it's time we roll the DCSS police force into the county force.

These crimes seem to be inside jobs, from new computers to air conditioning units. It's time the BOE start asking tough questions of DCSS Police leadership. We spend entirely too much money for this inefficient bureaucracy.

Ella Smith said...

I would like to see the crimes in the school stop also.

Many of these crimes are happening at night and week-ends regarding the big crimes.

I do know the two police officers at my school stay pretty busy keeping the school safe and dealing with students situations with crimes. The police officers at my school do work very hard and provide a great deal of protections for students.

There is a great need for police officers in our middle schools and high schools. The first priority has to be the safety of our students.

With major crimes like theft the local pollice will be called into investigation.

Anonymous said...

The DCSS Police are real police officers. This department had their funding cut, remember? The superintendent should be letting us know what the head of the school police is doing to stop these incidents. Is DCSS filing insurance claims for the loss? Are DCSS employees or students involved? How are the thieves getting past the alarm system? Is the alarm system being monitored? All good questions that I hope will be answered soon.

Anonymous said...

"This department had their funding cut, remember? "

Not anywhere like the classroom did. As I recall The BOE kept the canine unit and let teachers go - Womack was dead set against letting the dogs go. This goes to show dogs are more important than teachers to DCSS. That lets you know what the BOE thinks of students.

Cerebration said...

Don't really think so. If you check the post with the approved budget cuts, you will see that the police and security didn't even get nicked. Even the proposed cut to the canine unit was saved.

The Budget Recommendation

===

Also, this is what the DCSS website says about the budget cuts -

The total budget for the General Operations of the District for FY2011 is $746.6 million. It represents a decrease of 12.27% over the current FY2010 budget for General Operations. The decrease in the budget is due to significant reductions in state revenue from the QBE formula and significant declines in the local property digest fromwhich the property taxes are derived.

Now, since recently it has been revealed in board meetings that the tax revenue collection is not off as much as projections, then the conclusion we have to make is that our main loss in income is the reduction in QBE formula. This is partly due to the state slashing funding and also partly due to the fact that DCSS has too many under-enrolled schools (under 450 enrolled) which are not funded by the state either at all or at the same level as a full building. Thus - the desperate need to consolidate schools.

Fiscal Year 2011 (2010-2011 School Year)

Anonymous said...

Last night I watched several newscasts. Given the level of crime against people it is easy to see what this isn't making news right now. Crime is really out of control right now.

I think we are self-insured for the first 100 thousand and each claim is a separate one which means we aren't meeting the deductible.

Anonymous said...

Why don't we replace stolen laptops using funds from the Security Budget? I bet then they'd be able to complete an investigation adequately or make reasonable attempts to limit the loss of property. Also, perhaps DCSS needs to solicit bids for insurance coverage with smaller deductibles. Surely there are options out there in this economy to help protect taxpayer funds/equipment. Who's running the show????????????????

Anonymous said...

When you are self insured, you must cover the loss up to that designated dollar amount if items are stolen. The school system isn't truly self insured unless they actaully replace the loss up to that amount. Ask business owners what self insured means - bet their understanding is different than DCSS!

Anonymous said...

Employees should download and save their monthly pay stubs for future reference. With all the goofiness going about in payroll and human resource, it would be easy to shave off $10.00 here or there AND a couple hours of leave now and then.

Some teachers already found mistakes with their step increases and others conjecture that the County has not passed on the State's meager increases in a forthright manner!

It's a darn shame when you have to stress about either the competence or the honesty of your employer. A dirty darn shame!

December 5, 2010 4:58 PM

There were no step increases this year. Instead the remianing furlough days were canceled and those days put back into you pay check. The result is spread over the remaining year. The procedure was clearly explained in both the video borad cast and the followup email.

Anonymous said...

So far no one has posted any names of school or details or anything other than rumors other than the Henderson MS theft. DCSS computers are on an inventory with serial numbers. However, this may be like when I got my TV stolen. I had it marked and had a copy of the serial number as well. Ireported to both the DeKalb County and Atlanta police. No luck. Fortunately for me I went into a couple of pawn shops to see if I could get a cheap replacement and found my own TV for sale.

Anonymous said...

The teacher pay scale is posted. However, this only accounts for 6,500 employees out of 15,000+.

The DCSS administration should be publishing the pay scales for all employees. Many other school systems do this.

That's a good question for our new BOE members to ask Ms. Tyson since our old BOE members have not felt a need to ask for this level of transparency.

Look at the DCSS website and notice that only the Teacher payscale is downloadable:

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/administration/humanresources/employment.html

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/administration/humanresources/salaryschedules.html

Also accessible to the public should be the job title, the job description, and the qualifications to do the job.

I could not locate Ms. Copelin-Woods daughter on the state licensing website for nurses - LPN or RN. Yet the most recent posting for a nurse says that an RN or LPN license is required.

Anonymous said...

Well, No Duh, this is really interesting. You might be intrigued to know that several years ago, four middle schoolers were playing on the playground of their former elementary school on a Saturday when they saw one of their old teachers come out of the door after an event there. So these four – onetime patrols, good kids – realized the school was standing open and decided to see if any of their other former teachers were about. They went to their old 5th grade classrooms and finding no one, they wrote notes to their teachers on the white boards – you know, hearts and flowers, real threatening stuff. Soon after, they began to walk home and realized a police helicopter was following them. Soon a DeKalb County squad car squealed to the curb and forced them (each probably 82 pounds a piece) into the back seat. They were terrified. They were returned to the school, accused of stealing computers and breaking windows, and parents were summoned. The officers told the parents they have a bank of security camera monitors at the precinct and they watched these kids walk through the school. And of course, the squad car was there in minutes. As you can guess by now, as the case proceeded, their own video disproved the officers’ allegations. So I ask: where are the HMS security tapes? Why did no squad car squeal into the parking lot when the HMS laptop looting began?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking my suggestion and running with this issue. I hope this will rollover to major media and more people will take notice.
I can only speak for one school in this matter but have heard much from my peers. Last year there were seven break-ins at Robert Shaw, but the initial nature of the crimes makes me think that these may not be related to the big crimes we have been seeing at other schools. At Shaw the initial thefts were mostly for food from the cafeteria. Later they moved on to taking TV's, cameras, older projectors and laptops. They did not hit the mobile labs or the active boards. Everything they took could be carried out by hand.
But what bothered me is that I did not see a DCSS security person until the fourth break-in. It was not until the 6th or 7th that a real cop came in and wrote a report.
All the cameras and security gear appeared to do nothing. The crimes were at night when the school was dark and the images of the intruder were simply dark blurs. So another issue is that the expensive system in place along with the large security staff can't do a thing to stop this.
Once again heads should roll.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else having trouble watching the Board meeting online?
I keep getting an error message.
I'd really love to watch the meeting because there is a very full agenda with some interesting items!

Sagamore 7 said...

I have been trying for an hour to get an online feed to the board meeting this evening.

Any help online viewers?

Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

Sagamore 7-
No luck so far. From the error message I'm getting it looks like the server is down.
This makes the fact that they don't post meeting minutes online all the more frustrating.
There are a number of Action Items on the agenda that I'd like to know the result of the vote.
Even if they can't provide detailed minutes, the board should at the minimum post a list of the action items and the resulting vote.
Ahh...DeKalb!

Anonymous said...

re: the online stream; maybe ZR's daughter pulled the plug, since voters pulled the plug on her mom. Wonder how much longer she is going to have her six-figure income?

Anonymous said...

You have it messed up. The woman who runs the TV station is not Zepora Robert's daughter, rather she is the daughter of a former board member Francis Edwards.

Anonymous said...

Shameless Dr. B.... plug for his vaunted and proven 7 Steps.

Really, Dr. B. The tests for which you are claiming credit does not measure what DCSS students learned under your leadership but from the previous occupant of your position.

Cerebration said...

You all know that you can watch the meeting live on Comcast Channel 24 right?

Anonymous said...

I have AT and T Uverse and many have Dish, etc.

So no Comcast here.

Cerebration said...

Too bad, you just missed the longest run-on sentence ever spoken by Sarah Copelin Wood.

Anonymous said...

Cere-
Have they gotten to the Action Items yet?
Did they approve the proposed calendar?
Did they approve the installation of 4 ActivBoards at each school?
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

It is working now, but I can't tell where they are.

Anonymous said...

By working now, I mean the online version.

Tyson is talking about the number of employees students who are at DCSS schools other than their own schools. Eventually will provide them data of estimated cost.

Anonymous said...

It is now 9:06 PM and they haven't made it to the action items. I suspect that the 2020 vision report took a while.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is an interesting discussion about the roles of board committees and the role of superintendent. I am thinking that the issue is placing something on the agenda that the superintendent doesn't agree with it.

Could get very heated.

Anonymous said...

Discussion is still interesting. How is a recommendation from a committee appropriately changed?

When is a policy recommendation appropriately changed?

Anonymous said...

They are approving the policy that changes the way reduction in force can be conducted.

SCW moved for it and ZR seconded! That is a bit surprising.

Past with almost no discussion.

This is a huge change.

Yeah!

Cerebration said...

This is going looooong. I missed much of the beginning, but I do think it's overtime due to the presentation of the 2020 vision and then the charettes.

Did they approve the policy stating that employees can only bring their children to the school at which they work (not the feeders)? I got confused...

Anonymous said...

Cunningham just asked for a salary comparison of employees in DeKalb to other metro systems. Should be interesting to see if he ever gets it -- Tyson said they would do it.

Anonymous said...

Cere

That policy was being put on the table for 30 days. Should be on the website in the next few days for public comment.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the policy is already that employees can only bring their children to the school they work at.

Discussion indicated that while it is the policy, the practice is very different.

Cerebration said...

Wow. Walker is wildly complaining that Beasley's proclamation to seek SACS accreditation is RENEWAL not seeking it for the first time!! Funny thing though, all board members already signed the dang thing - did he not notice it then or is this suddenly an issue because the cameras are on?

Cerebration said...

Cunningham should have also asked how many people are employed in those positions relative to the number of students in those districts.

Anonymous said...

Cere-
They presented a new policy (or policy revision) that employees would only be able to have their children attend the school where they are employed. The child would not be able to continue in the feeder pattern.
The policy will sit on the table for 30 days before it is voted on.
I know this is an unpopular opinion on this board, but I think teachers have earned the right to have their children attend the schools in their feeder pattern. I wonder how other metro school systems handle this.
Due to the close proximity of neighboring school districts I imagine many DeKalb teachers live in other districts.(Full disclosure- I'm a DeKalb teacher that lives in the APS district.)
I know many of you will scream that DeKalb shouldn't educate students that do not live in DeKalb. I argue that we get per-pupil funds from the state for these students and if other metro areas allow their teachers to bring their students with them, it all evens out in the end.

Anonymous said...

My old school district in the northeast eliminated even having your child at the school where you work. There were a couple of reasons: 1) it was a perk that was not given to teachers without children, and they were going to have to pony up cash or an equivalent perk to even things out, and 2) they discovered that it was just otherwise expensive. I guess it would be nice to not have to get your kid to a school far away from your workplace, like everyone else has to, but the reality is that it is a real money outlay that the board has to decide is worth it (that is, does not having it drive qualified candidates away).

Anonymous said...

There are going to be so many people that are going to lose if this policy takes place.

The number one loser will be the students of the teacher.

I want to start off by saying, I am a teacher that does not have their kids in the feeder program.

Before my children were school aged, I would come early and stay late because I did not have to rush somewhere to pick them up. I could tutor kids before school and after school.

Now I can not do that. By the time I drop off my kids at their home school and get through traffic, my school is about to start. At the end of the day I am out the door because I have to fight traffic again to pick the kids up from after school day care before the cut off time.

I really do feel bad for my students. I can't be there for them.

With teachers kids in the same feeder pattern, teachers are now closer to their kids schools. They can get to school sooner. And in turn they do not have to run right out the door after school. Close proximity makes a different.

In the grand scheme of things.. We have more people in Central Office and people who are from other counties going to any school they want to in DCSS than we do teachers.

We need to have better priorities.

Cerebration said...

Funny how the Oak Grove PTA has to pay $9,900 for a new marquee sign - AND ask the board's approval to buy it.

According to Zepora, Glen Haven has a sign being donated to them by Coca-Cola - but the school system has to install it and they haven't committed the money. Zepora is mad. Not Fair. Donahue corrected her - the PTA is paying for the installation as well.

Zepora - "nevermind"...

Anonymous said...

The biggest question is will Central Office and Support personnel be able to have their children attend any school they want in DCSS from K-12? This is the case right now. Why should they pick and choose their children's schools K-12? Presently, they can choose any school in DCSS they want. The BOE and Ms. Tyson need to address this problem. I suspect BOE friends and family members in non-teaching positions are glad Ms. Tyson skipped over this perk.

Taxpayers/parents need to email/call BOE members to make sure Ms. Tyson clarifies where these non-teaching personnel send their children. The administrative transfers of their children dwarf the teachers'ability to take their children to school with them.

Cerebration said...

Excellent point, 10:19 PM. People, let Tyson know that we do not approve of this long-standing perk for administration to pick and choose any school for their child... This wasn't even addressed in the proposal to limit this perk for employees who work in the schoolhouse. It should be.

Dan Magee said...

Back to the theft issue.

Nine detectives for DCSS Police. Two Chiefs (yes, two chiefs for one department). Hundreds of DCSS Police staff. Yet computers and air conditioning units walk away from county schools like its 7 am at Walmart or Target the day after Thanksgiving.

Here's a solution to the problem. Ask a state rep., preferably Mike Jacobs, to pass local legislation that requires DCSS to post every crime committed on school property online. It's not unheard of, as there is similar requirements for colleges.

If they believed in transparency, they would do so already.

But what the rampant theft says loudly and clearly about the Board of Education and the Tyson/Moseley/Ron Ramsey Central Office is there is absolutely no respect for the taxpayer. How many thousands of dollars, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing computers and equipment go missing from DCSS schools, yet no one from the BOE or Central Office blinks?

You'd think that head of DCSS Internal Affairs Ron Ramsey would be on a mission to end the insanity, especially since he also represents DeKalb taxpayers as a state senator in his spare time.

To fix the DCSS Police Dept., bring in Lou Arcangeli for a no holds barred top to bottom audit, forensic, operational and personnel.

http://clatl.com/2003-01-29/cover.html

Dan Magee said...

Oh yeah. I don't think any of the 200 school police staffers work weekends. Just check out the fields of any of the system's stadiums or atheltic fields that are supposed to be locked up and closed. You could have an eight team adult soccer tournament on a DCSS field without anyone from the school system realizing it until they see the field ripped up on Monday morning. Ooops, that's what's happened for years at Sequaoyah Middle. They even have charged admission in the school parking lot.

I was actually at a meeting last year at the DCSS elementary school next to Adams Stadium. I asked Redovian if the stadium was supposed to be closed. He asked why? Because there were thirty guys who hopped the fence playing soccer on it in the dark.

Anyone know what DCSS School police staff does in the summertime?

Anonymous said...

@ Dan McGee

"Anyone know what DCSS School police staff does in the summertime?"

All the more reason to outsource this group. Eugene Walker will fight against this since his son is a security officer who BTW makes much more than most DCSS teachers make ($65,000 a year in salary and benefits). This is the problem with having your family employed by DCSS when you are a BOE member (Walker has more family employed than any BOE member in DCSS - and in metro Atlanta).

Cerebration said...

Loved Sarah's comment to Zepora, "You can take all that stuff and throw it out your house now."

Anonymous said...

Funny how during Gene Walker's two different campaigns, he never mentioned his multiple relatives working for DCSS.

Or that he took $20k+ plus from Sembler while serving on the county Development Authority.

Or that they were at least two sexual harassment court claims made against him.

Or that he years ago sponsored Crawford Lewis' membership into the exclusive Commerce Club.

Cerebration said...

"$65,000 a year in salary and benefits" - heck that's more than DeKalb County beat cops.

Anonymous said...

For all her years on the Board, I am not sure Roberts ever picked up on the fact that schools have to provide their own marquees.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Oh yeah. I don't think any of the 200 school police staffers work weekends

That is not correct. The SRO for each school is required to be at the school for all sporting events . I know I have seen them at basketball games and volleyball games.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that's correct, Dunwoody Mom. I go to soccer games, and have never seen a SRO at any JV games and have only seen one very occasionally at a varsity soccer game. At least for girls soccer. Matter of fact, I have rarely seen a SRO other than football and basketball. Might depend on the school.

It is a good question on what the heck they do during the summer, and if anyone checks school campuses on weekends. I know the back of DCSS' old Heritage School is a haven for teenage smoking, alcohol and marijuana year round, but especially in the summer. That's a shame, because there is a nice little playground back there the public could be using, as their tax dollars paid for it.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Well, all I can tell you is that I have seen an SRO at the numerous basketball games, volleyball games and swim meets I have attended at many DCSS schools.

PolitiMom said...

Sadly, just because it might be required doesn't mean they are there. There is no oversight unless they are clocking in via computer and the timecard system is routinely monitored. Don't mean to slight the hard working officers, but cheating isn't just a classroom problem.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever seen a DCSS SRO, but I mainly go to baseball, softball, & track meets.

Anyway, every single salary of DCSS police officers needs to be analyzed. Compare them to not just other school systems, but to the county and city departments in the county.

No offense, but our county officers face much harder circumstances, whether pulling over a vehicle on a road where cars are flying by at 85 miles per hour, or answering a call in a high crime area. We have tragically lost more than a few DeKalb police officers over the last few years (God Bless Baker & Bryant).

There is no way a DCSS school resource officer or administrator should be paid equally or more than a county officer.

Anonymous said...

by 7:31 am "There is no way a DCSS school resource officer or administrator should be paid equally or more than a county officer."

Agreed. These officers do not have nearly the risk that a county officer has, nor the scrutiny. They are more like the security guards at the mall, as they don't do investigations into who is stealing from the schools.

The entire pay scale at DCSS needs an overhaul, but I don't see anyone having enough guts to do that.

Anonymous said...

"The entire pay scale at DCSS needs an overhaul, but I don't see anyone having enough guts to do that. "

Either the DCSS administration and BOE do an overhaul or our schools and property values will continue to decline. I really don't see how these salaries will be sustainable. That's not guts - just economics.

Anonymous said...

If a school system employee is out on sick leave(FMLA), can this employee work a part-time job?

Anonymous said...

"If a school system employee is out on sick leave(FMLA), can this employee work a part-time job? "

When you take FMLA, you need to fill out paperwork. Your paperwork should tell you this. Going online to the EEOC governmental site, it appears that your employer sets the parameters for working part time.

Anonymous said...

DCSS school population is 12% Hispanic, or about 11,500 students. Guess that 50% are illegal,or 5750.

Say that it costs $10,000 per pupil (probably more because they need EOSL, etc) ... Costs $57.5 MILLION.


Just thinking

Cerebration said...

Take that up with your state rep and congressperson. These kids are innocent in any kind of illegal immigration. We are not here to judge that any more than we would judge a child whose parent is in jail for some other kind of crime.

Besides, nowhere near half of the Hispanic students are here illegally. A vast majority were born here, making them citizens.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:03 pm

"Say that it costs $10,000 per pupil (probably more because they need EOSL, etc) ... Costs $57.5 MILLION."

Too simplistic in your figures. Even if they are illegal immigrants, they pay apartment rent which translates into property tax which funds schools. Every penny they spend goes to SPLOST III and that goes to school construction which if they move their children will never see. Income tax is taken of their pay and I guess other taxes as well.

You would need a lot more data to make a statement like this and have it be accurate.

Anonymous said...

12/6 Cere said People, let Tyson know that we do not approve of this long-standing perk for administration to pick and choose any school for their child...

It's not only admin people getting this perk. When my son started high school I ran into his old preschool teacher at open house day, I knew she didn't live in my district, she said that she is now a bus driver for the county so she could send her children to Lakeside.

Cerebration said...

Oh, brother. This really is out of control. One time, we estimated that there were between 400-600 students attending Lakeside who do not live in the attendance zone. And Lakeside is not a magnet, theme or choice school.

Anonymous said...

Briarlake had its computers stolen from a back lab towards the end of the 09 school year. One would have needed good information to know how to get to them. As far as I know, no info on the thief or investigation.

Fulton or APS has had 2 similar incidents in the news recently and their police force has actually caught people. I wish folks would stick the to topic. No Duh is on to something... if folks would collectively post what they know (or think they know) from their schools, we might collectively expose something. Something is rotten in Denmark.....

No Duh said...

Anon 3:06. I remember that day well. A beautiful Saturday pierced by the sounds a police helicopter hovering over my house (or dang close). We were terrified that a ruthless criminal was running the streets in broad daylight. What a relief to learn it was just extreme overkill on the part of the police department.

But, your jogging my memory of that event, and in light of the lack of immediate response in our schools in the middle of the night, leads me to ask. Were our students roughed up by DeKalb County police, or by a DCCS police? And, if what I am told is correct, that DCSS has its own force that does not interact with DeKalb County police, then why was a DeKalb police helicopter sent to find the "perpetrators" at our elementary school a few years ago?

Can someone please clarify just what the relationship is between DCSS police force and the DeKalb County police? I'm pretty sure the SROs are wearing "police" uniforms. Yet, I hear if DCSS police are investigating then DeKalb County officers cannot join in...

Also, one of the two chiefs of security was so condescending and rude to me last night at the BOE meeting that I was stunned. I asked for information about the investigation was told "We aren't going to tell you details of the investigation.." I replied that I didn't expect details, but suggested the taxpayers deserve to know if an investigation seven underway.

Best part was when I suggested DCSS release the security video that they have. She didn't say we don't have any tape. She didn't say we have no usable images. She looked at me as if I had two heads and said with venom, "Why would we do THAT?" Laughing seemed like a cruel response.

Move over Barney Fiff, there's a new sheriff in town.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:09 PM,
Please contact your BOE rep. about your conversation with one of the two school police chiefs. That is intolerable. A police cheif is a public servant, and her rudeness is not only unacceptable, it's unprofessional. Just like the dept. she runs.

Anonymous said...

No Duh,
Any other police dept. would give the video to the news stations to air on TV for citizens to help them locate the perpetrators and have a tip line to call!! Can't imagine why DCSS wouldn't do likewise for all the computer heists, the copper from all the air conditioners, etc. Are they even searching the internet for sales of computers? Someone had to have sold the copper-that's the only reason it is being stolen..and there are laws about that now....did DCSS follow up with the businesses that buy copper? Shame on them for not thinking the public should know about the status and be invited to help find the culprits!! A small reward could even save the system a fortune in the future if culprits were identified!

@Anon Dec. 7 @ 10:39 p.m.
If I recall the info at the time, there were either 3 or 4 other school break-ins around the time Briarlake was broken into - no one understood why the news only reported Briarlake's break-in.

Several years ago, items were stolen from Lakeside - there were cameras in the area but oddly enough...they were not working, had been reported but never fixed...could it be our cameras are not being maintained? Could it be the culprits are clever enough, as insiders could be, to avoid the cameras? Even the students have the cameras figured out! There may not even be anything to see on these expensive video systems...and what about the alarms?? Did they go off at any schools? Who would respond - DCSS or DeKalb? Are the SROs on call at night, weekends? Lots of questions we have a right to know...but don't...

Anonymous said...

At a county wide Educational Media meeting earlier in the year the situation was discussed in depth. Here's some of the things mentioned.
Over $300,00 in technology has been stolen.
The culprit has a key to the cabinets of the mobile laptop labs.
The culprit appears to know how to avoid the security cameras.
He has been nicknamed "The Creeper".

Anonymous said...

At Henderson Middle, they came in prepared: they had the tools to cut the cables, open the locked laptop cabinets, open the visual arts storage room (requires a special key) and leave through some door - the media center's large screen TV would not have fit through the narrow windows at HMS. Security camera tapes have been checked...nada.

Anonymous said...

Never seen an SRO at a swim meet. Our high school has 1 SRO who leaves by 4 p.m. We do have 1 campus security person that has the late shift until about 7...but he/she has no "police" powers - just a regular person that gets to wear a yellow campus security shirt and carry a walkie talkie.

No Duh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
No Duh said...

Anon 713. You said this was discussed in a county wide meeting. Do you mean it was discussed as an agenda item or as just attendees comparing notes? Was anyone in the public safety department part of the discussion and if so, how high up was that person ranked? Do you know where the number of break-ins (HMS being number 20) came from?

There's a reason for all my questions, as your answers may confirm just how much smoke was blown up my "you know what" yesterday by a DCSS administrator (you know the ones who call concerned citizens up to "address their concerns" only to make the citizen more concerned about the competency of DCSS employees).