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Marijuana Has Been “Decriminalized” in Atlanta. What’s That Really Mean?

Until just last week, those in possession of small amounts of marijuana in Atlanta faced jail time. Even less than an ounce could land you behind bars. Thanks to a new city ordinance, any person in Atlanta that is caught with less than a single ounce of marijuana won't be facing any time in the clink. In short, possession of small amounts of weed has been decriminalized. Mayoral candidate Kwanza Hall wrote the ordinance and introduced it to the city in March. After its passing, Hall said, "This is a moment of history for Atlanta. We have made positive progress." While...

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The Future Is Here with “Predictive Policing”

When you think of police responding to a crime, you think of just that: police responding. In a typical scenario, a crime is committed, the police department or 911 is called, and officers are sent to the scene. But what if police officers could start “responding” to crimes before they occurred? Predictive policing offers just that. It's a high-tech approach to law enforcement that uses data to forecast possible criminal activity. While the term “predictive policing” may make you think of movies like Minority Report, it works a bit differently in the real world. Experts say that it is a bit...

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Polk County Chief Out of Hospital

Police lights

The chief of the Polk County Police Department was involved in an accident Friday morning. According to reports, the chief was treated and released from the hospital. The chief was heading westbound on Highway 278 on his way to work. He was in front of Polk Medical Center when he noticed a woman and a child walking down the highway. The chief stopped and offered the pair a ride. As the chief was talking to the mother and her child, a vehicle failed to yield and struck his patrol car from behind. The force of the collision knocked the chief's...

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Train Collides with… House?

train derailment

It was an accident that no one could have expected. A train derailed on Thursday in Atlanta, and a car from the train was sent careening into a nearby home, destroying it and leaving its occupants trapped inside. According to reports, a man was asleep in his bedroom at around 3:00 a.m. It was then that the man was startled awake by a large rumble and discovered that a train had crashed into his home. Luckily, the man sustained only minor injuries. Witnesses say that the man is fortunate to have escaped with his life. A total of fourteen cars on the...

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How to Combat Domestic Violence as a Community

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is estimated that nearly one-third of all women and approximately one in 12 men will have or will experience domestic violence. Even one person falling victim to intimate partner abuse is too many. There are ways that you can help combat domestic violence in your own community. 1. Familiarize Yourself with the Signs If you have never experienced domestic violence, you may not be aware of the signs of this type of abuse. There are typically warning signs that a person is a victim. A victim may be financially controlled, frequently embarrassed by their partner,...

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Father Charged in Fatal Brain Injury Case

MRI of brain, brain injury

An infant boy died on September 23, and the child's father has been arrested in connection with the death. According to reports, the man has been charged with malice murder, cruelty to children in the first degree, and second degree murder. Reports indicate that the man had turned himself in on charges of domestic violence. The baby's mother was the victim in that incident and it was reported that the baby had suffered brain damage while in the man's care. The Henry County Police Department was alerted to the incident after receiving a call from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where the...

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Semi and Pickup Truck Collide

Professional white classic semi-truck with white trailer to haul industrial cargo transports cargo on the highway with other road users in foggy weather on the plateau in California

A person who was driving a semi truck was airlifted to a local hospital Friday, September 29 following an accident that occurred on I-75 near Rocky Face. The first 911 call, according to Whitfield County, came in just after 2:30 p.m. According to reports, a semi truck was traveling in the middle lane and going north on the highway. A pickup truck in front of the semi truck came to a sudden stop, causing the semi truck to veer into the right lane. As the semi truck maneuvered to miss the pickup, it clipped a box truck. The semi was then...

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What Happens if You Violate Probation?

There is no denying that probation can be a hassle, to say the least. For many people, though, probation can be a better alternative to jail. For others, it is a necessary condition of release. No matter why you have found yourself on probation, violating it has serious consequences. When you are placed on probation, you are given a strict set of regulations. If you violate one of the terms of your probation, your probation officer has the discretion to either issue you a warning or request a court hearing. In typical cases, the officer will often choose to take the...

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How Public Transportation Affects DUI Rates

It may have been so long ago that you can't remember how old you were before you began hearing warnings telling you not to drink and drive. For many, this means that if you have to drive at all, you should avoid drinking altogether. For others, it means that if you do drive to a location, then drink there, you should find another ride home. Some campaigns against drinking and driving have been successful, but many have not. But why? For many people, it boils down to convenience. It simply isn't convenient in many cities to get home without driving. Cities...

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Is Body Cam Footage from Cops Public Record?

Turn on the evening news and you may see a person being arrested. You may not see it because someone taped the incident on their cell phone, but rather because the news media has obtained body cam footage from the local police department. As often as we see this type of footage on the news and floating around the Internet, it's easy to believe that body cam footage is public record. But is it? What many people don't know is that each police department is permitted to set its own guidelines regarding the release of body cam footage. While some provide...

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