DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – One DeKalb County park is on the decline after neighbors have constantly complained about its conditions, especially after a body was recently discovered in nearby woods.
On Feb. 1 around 4:45 p.m., a 19-year-old was walking his dogs throughout the park when he noticed a body in the woods. He immediately called the police to alert them of the situation.
However, police didn’t arrive until more than an hour later.
When asked why it took police so long to arrive, DeKalb County Police said the call was taken by a first-year employee and they created the call as a “check location” making it a priority two.
“The call should have been created as a Person Down call (possible Person Dead), which would have been a priority 1. Once a supervisor was made aware, it was dispatched to a uniform officer, who responded to the scene within one minute of receiving the call,” DeKalb County Police said in a statement.
The responding officer said he saw the body lying face down near a tree wearing a jacket with a hood over his head. Police believe the man was homeless and said there were no visual signs of injury.
This isn’t the first incident when it comes to the park.
A resident in the area contacted 11Alive and said the body is the final straw. They said since DeKalb County Schools own the park, school officials should do a better job of maintaining the property. The resident said homeowners in the neighborhood have worked to keep the park clean over the last five years, even painted over graffiti.
11Alive reached out to the DeKalb County Schools System and a statement was provided.
"The DeKalb County School District has owned the Rehoboth School Park property for more than 20 years. The district is responsible for maintaining the park and regularly empties on-site trash containers and provides landscaping services. Part of the 2.4-acre park is a wooded area that is a forest preserve which the district would not be responsible for maintaining. We value our partnership with our neighbors in the area and we do our best to maintain our properties."
District 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader spoke with 11Alive about the local park. He has been aware of its declining conditions.
Rader said DeKalb County is in the final stages of the purchasing the park from the county school district.
Once the purchase is finalized, the county will be able to improve its current conditions. He spoke about a nearby park, Springbrook, which was recently updated. He hopes to do the same for Rehoboth Park.
Radar also said there is hope to create a Friends of the Park group to help keep the park in good conditions.