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UPDATE 4:26 p.m.: Comment from Chief Kevin Roberts

The Clayton County Police Department, along with the municipal police forces in Jonesboro, Morrow, Forest Park, Lovejoy, Lake City, and Riverdale are seeking approval to form a joint task force to fight drugs and gang activity.

The goal, according to a resolution before the Clayton County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night is “a consolidated approach to suppress violent crime, drug crimes and gang activity throughout the County irrespective of jurisdictional boundaries.”

“The thinking of the other chiefs and the county was that we could come together as a force multiplier as we see violent crime in and around Clayton County increasing,” Chief Kevin Roberts said. “We wanted to be able to just double our efforts, both in our cities and in unincorporated Clayton County, by bringing our manpower resources together for crime suppression purposes.”

Under the agreement, each municipal police agency would provide several officers to the The Joint Crime Suppression Task Force, which would answer to the Clayton County Police Department. The municipal officers would be sworn into the Clayton County Police Reserve Unit. That would give the municipal officers countywide jurisdiction to exercise police powers.

Each week, all agencies would send reports to CCPD’s TITAN Unit, which in turn would analyze the reports for “hot spots that are in need of Task Force attention.”

The task force would go into effect as soon as the BOC passes it.

“Everything we do would be contingent upon the manpower of each agency,” Roberts explained. “So depending upon that agency’s availability or resources, it will align with their contribution.”

Forest Park signed off on the partnership at Monday night’s council meeting.

Tonight’s meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at 112 Smith Street, Jonesboro.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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