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Police chiefs in DeKalb County want school district to sign off on new speed detection cameras

They claim Dekalb County School District is tying their hands, but the district said it wants to make sure this is offered in a way that’s fair to all schools.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Several police chiefs from across Dekalb County are joining together with a common goal to slow down speeders in school zones. They claim Dekalb County School District is tying their hands, but the district said it wants to make sure this is offered in a way that’s fair to all schools and students.

“We’ve been working with the Dekalb County School District for two years and we’re no further than the day we started,” said Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan.

Grogan joined police chiefs from Chamblee, Doraville and Brookhaven on Monday to get the word out that they want to put speed detection cameras in a number of school zones. However, they claim the district still hasn’t signed off on them even after the departments issued a 10-page letter and shared speed studies over the last two years. 

One study in Brookhaven in 2019 showed 2,230 speeding violations in front of Cross Keys High School in Brookhaven in just a single day, and another in 2020 in Dunwoody showed 1,067 violations at Chestnut Elementary in a single day.

“That’s obviously a huge safety concern,” said Grogan.

Brookhaven Chief Gary Yandura said they’re getting complaints from parents and residents and even crossing guards. They believe this is a way to help slow drivers down without stretching their staff.

“We don’t have enough officers to man each school zone, these cameras will send out a ticket,” said Yandura.

The school district sent out a statement, which reads in part:

“Equitably and fairly means working with all the jurisdictions to ensure a public process is engaged to determine where ASE (or automated speed enforcement) installations should occur. There are nine(9) cities in DeKalb County in addition to the unincorporated area. DCSD is committed to coordinating with all municipalities, the County, and the public. Any ASE must be balanced throughout DeKalb County.”

Grogan said any city can take the initiative to start the process with a speed study of their own --  just like they did.

“Our hope is citizens and especially parents in the affected communities can make their voices heard to the Dekalb School District to the board members who are elected and tell them they want them to approve these applications,” said Grogan.

Even if the school district were to sign off, it would still be a while before the cameras would go up. Since it’s been so long, the chiefs say they’d likely have to run speed studies again and then they would still need approval by the Department of Transportation.