Atlanta residents hire, outfiting own security

Thousands of Atlanta homeowners think they have the answer for the strained police manpower in the city.

Some residents are pooling their funds and purchasing police protection by hiring off-duty or retired police. Some are even going a step beyond that by buying real police-grade vehicles so they can patrol every street in the neighborhood.

Tim Robinson, the public safety captain for the Paces Park community, proudly showed off the brand new police interceptor SUV to FOX 5 News on Thursday.

Robinson said he does have some concerns though. He wants to know why the regular on-duty beat cars, which should also be out there every day, are getting pulled. That means there is no one to put in the cruiser.

Chief Joe Spillane, who is in charge of the overall field operations, said even though a sick day or training requirements may result in a car being pulled for a shift, the commander will backfill that beat by drawing on other police resources so, in his words, “someone will be in the area.”

Spillane said those homeowners who are paying for patrols can be assured supervisors are not taking officers from their zone and placing them in another zone with higher demands due to higher incidents of crime.