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Harlem Department of Public Safety receive lightning bolt decals for felony arrests

Sunday, April 6, 2014 9:48 PM
Last updated Monday, April 7, 2014 12:57 AM
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You can learn a lot about a Harlem Department of Public Safety officer just by looking at
the front fender of their patrol car.

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Officers with the Harlem Department of Public Safety who make self-initiated felony arrests are awarded red lightning bolt decals to place on their cars.   HARLEM DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
HARLEM DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Officers with the Harlem Department of Public Safety who make self-initiated felony arrests are awarded red lightning bolt decals to place on their cars.


For about three months, officers with the department who make self-initiated felony arrests within Harlem city limits have been awarded red lightning bolt decals to place on their patrol cars just above the drivers side wheel well.

The lightning bolt program was put in place by Chief Gary Jones, who adopted the idea from a similar program sponsored by the Georgia State Patrol years ago.

“State patrol used to do it about 20 years ago before going away from it,” Jones said. “I saw it as an opportunity to motivate the officers to be looking for specific things that they may not ordinarily be looking for. It doesn’t give them a pay incentive, but it does give them some recognition.”

Out of the eight patrol units used by the department, all but one – the spare unit – has red bolts along its side.

Most cruisers have about six or seven bolts affixed to their exteriors, Jones said. Officer Chet Hopkins currently holds the most self-initiated felony arrests with 10 since the program’s inception. But the decals do more than improve the morale of the department, Jones said. Harlem residents have taken to the program since it shows the department takes an aggressive stance on crime within its jurisdiction he said.

“I think some people were under the mindset from previous administrations that we just ride around here and do nothing,” he said. “To a certain degree, that may have been what was actually transpiring. Now that we’ve focused more on training issues and drug interdiction and crime intervention, officers are spotting things now that before they might not have even noticed.”

Jones said about 85 percent of the arrests are drug-related. The remaining 15 percent are usually habitual DUI violators.

“I just want (the citizens) to think the department is productive and that the department is transparent because we are allowing the people to see what we’re doing,” Jones said. “I think the public has received it very well.”

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GiantsAllDay
10484
Points
GiantsAllDay 04/06/14 - 09:36 pm
5
7
It sounds like something a

It sounds like something a kindergarten teacher would pass out. Instead of putting the decals on their cars, why not put them on their refrigerator next to the kids finger paintings? That way the whole family can see and admire them everyday.
http://youtu.be/RhokFOP8IH0

Navy Gary
1615
Points
Navy Gary 04/06/14 - 11:13 pm
5
7
Kind of like...

Kind of like the swastikas and rising suns U.S. fighter pilots used to paint on their airplanes to mark the number of kills they achieved in combat. Since almost everything is a felony these days, it won't be long before their whole fleet of cars have nothing but "bolts" on them. Gestapo Insignia also if I remember correctly. Perhaps a little bent badge sticker to go beside the bolts when a dirty cop is arrested too? The whole department should be reprimanded for coming up with such stupidity and the reporters who think this is news, worthy of print, should probably rethink their profession. Get over yourselves already! I wonder if Border Patrol cops put little Mexican flags for the "illegals" they arrest for deportation on their cars? No wait, that would be racist or insensitive.

Riverman1
93611
Points
Riverman1 04/07/14 - 06:58 am
8
0
A bad guy can point at a bolt

A bad guy can point at a bolt on a car when he gets out of jail and say that's his.

GiantsAllDay
10484
Points
GiantsAllDay 04/07/14 - 07:48 am
3
2
The GHP abandoned this over

The GHP abandoned this over 20 years ago. My guess it is because they grew up. When a college football player makes a good play, he gets a sticker for his helmet. This tells me that small town cops look at their job (affecting people's lives) as nothing more than a game. And that's really not the most disturbing part. The chief himself is the instigator.

dichotomy
37444
Points
dichotomy 04/07/14 - 08:28 am
3
1
Hey, the chief is trying to

Hey, the chief is trying to build a little morale by giving recognition. He can't give pay raises so he is doing what he can to build morale and give incentive. It's not hurting anything. Seems to be working. As someone stated above, it worked for fighter pilots in WWI, WWII and every war since. I'm not sure I would want to line up all of those fighter pilots and tell them they were "stupid" or childish.

At least, to my knowledge, he didn't waste a bunch of money having HIS NAME put on every car like some sheriff I know. We know whose ego THAT was intended to boost.

lgr
240
Points
lgr 04/07/14 - 10:23 am
3
1
decals

some readers only want to say negative thins. don't let them get to you

GiantsAllDay
10484
Points
GiantsAllDay 04/07/14 - 10:40 am
3
0
Dichotomy, So you are saying

Dichotomy, So you are saying that the police are at WAR with the citizens who pay their salaries? This is the comparison that you made. Now in 1940's Germany, the police actually were at war with their fellow citizens. I'm pretty sure it is not supposed to be that way in our society. Now I have no clue as to the answer to the following question, but I would like to know just how many other police agencies across the country do this? We can start by finding out why the GHP abandoned it. Of all the police agencies in the state of Georgia, the GHP is the most educated and the most professional. Underachievers and screw ups wash out of the GHP very quickly. BTW, GREAT comment by Riverman1.

Gage Creed
19397
Points
Gage Creed 04/07/14 - 06:31 pm
1
0
HPD has lightning bolts...

HPD has lightning bolts... Liberals have Obama/Biden bumper stickers... coincidence?

corgimom
38381
Points
corgimom 04/07/14 - 08:29 pm
1
1
Gage Creed, what on Earth are

Gage Creed, what on Earth are you talking about? There are plenty of Republican bumper stickers, along with the anti-abortion bumper stickers and the anti-gun control, too.

corgimom
38381
Points
corgimom 04/07/14 - 08:30 pm
1
1
The GHP probably stopped it

The GHP probably stopped it because the officers said "this is dumb and pointless".

dichotomy
37444
Points
dichotomy 04/07/14 - 08:55 pm
1
0
GiantsAllDay......"Dichotomy,

GiantsAllDay......"Dichotomy, So you are saying that the police are at WAR with the citizens who pay their salaries?"

No, I merely stated that the HPD chief, who I am sure does not have the funds to give officers a raise or cash award, was using the decals to try to improve morale, give recognition, and give an incentive. And I simply used fighter pilots as an example. I could have used elementary school teachers giving the kids a "star" sticker. Sometimes a little recognition goes a long way.

nocnoc
49130
Points
nocnoc 04/08/14 - 04:13 am
1
0
Patrol cars aren't Football helments

YES LEO's deserve phrase for doing their job plus some.

But this toes the line for creating a competition environment, which will result in increased bad arrests.

Plus it points out the problems cops for thugs, thus making those cops greater targets for drug dealers and such.

nocnoc
49130
Points
nocnoc 04/08/14 - 04:17 am
2
0
BTW:

Jones said “I just want (the citizens) to think the department is productive ...”

Most everyone in the CSRA knows Harlem police are productive. But to be more accurate why not put Traffic ticket decals on the Patrol cars instead.

Little Lamb
49001
Points
Little Lamb 04/08/14 - 09:02 am
0
0
City

Police Chief Gary Jones said, “About 85 percent of the arrests are drug-related. The remaining 15 percent are usually habitual DUI violators.”

It would seem the druggies and the drunks would just ease outside the city limits to do their thing. Less chance of getting arrested.

Gage Creed
19397
Points
Gage Creed 04/08/14 - 08:09 pm
0
0
"Gage Creed, what on Earth

"Gage Creed, what on Earth are you talking about? There are plenty of Republican bumper stickers, along with the anti-abortion bumper stickers and the anti-gun control, too."

Corgimom, You forgot the" I ♥ my parakeet", "Gilley's" and "Don't follow me cause I'm lost too" bumper stickers... What difference do any bumper stickers or decals on vehicles make... except to the people that place them there?

With regard to someone pointing out how dumb and pointless something is... it's great to have an expert weigh-in!

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