The Citizen Poll is a weekly compilation of reader comments on subjects of local interest. The Citizen publishes as many comments as space allows. Comments, which may be edited for space or content, are published anonymously on Sunday. To submit a comment, call 770-483-7108, ext. 402, email poll@rockdalecitizen.com or complete the online form.

This week’s question was:“What would you recommend that our law enforcement agencies do to address crime in Conyers and Rockdale County?”

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“Here’s two ideas: First, aggressive code enforcement. Follow through on those who are violating code. Give the code some teeth: no slap on the wrist for repeat offenders. Create a code similar to Cobb County that limits the number of cars that can be at a single family house, because we have a lot of homes in Rockdale serving as de facto apartment buildings. Our code enforcement department should be larger and better staffed; ditch the ‘community information’ department and unnecessary positions like chief of staff, and put that money to code enforcement. And second, increase traffic stops and ticket traffic offenses. I have seen countless times people making U-turns in the middle of West Avenue, Sigman, and other highly congested roads. I have seen failure to yield and tailgating and speeding and pulling out in front of oncoming traffic. I see (and hear) blaring radios and windows so tinted you cannot make out even a silhouette of the driver. People riding in the back of pickups. Helmetless bikers. And I see these things happen right in front of RCSO and CPD and nothing is done about it. There was a time when any one of these resulted in immediate stops and tickets. Twenty years ago, Rockdale was infamous for being the place you did not want to be pulled over. But now? It seems anything goes. Ticket offenders, get the money, and use that money for more enforcement. These two things, traffic and code enforcement, are a foundation to discourage bad elements from coming to this county, and they encourage bad elements to leave. We need to crack down on violations, because the people who are most likely to defy code and traffic laws are the same ones who disregard other laws, too.”

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“1. Body cameras for all officers. 2. Automatic five days in jail for lying to police officers. 3. Automatic five days in jail for the guardian of juveniles out past curfew. 4. Automatic five days in jail for hotel owners if more than three arrests for prostitution are made at their hotel. After three arrests are made at their hotel, the hotel owner spends five days in jail every time there is another prostitution case.”

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“Increase the number of 911 operators and make sure all of the 911 operators actually care about complaints and not blow them off. I called and reported a fight between some teenagers in the middle of the intersection by the hospital a few weeks ago. The boys had gotten out of their cars and were fighting under the red light blocking traffic. The operator did not seem interested. I told her what happened and then told her that they were driving away. She sounded aggravated that I called. She said, ‘OK, well I guess call back if you see them do it again.’ She did not ask for a description of the kids. She did not ask for the types of cars they were in and did not seem to care.”

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“I think the Rockdale/Conyers (law enforcement officers) are doing excellent follow-ups on crimes. That being said, much more needs to be done to prevent these crimes. More presence in the area around Sigman Road, going in town to the Olde Town area, and to the Northside shopping center area I think would help. Getting rid of the basketball courts at Pine Log Park and other activities that draw these thugs. Most of the crime seems to be carried out by want-to-be gangs. Most of these individuals are big chickens alone and need support from a rabble. Curfews and group controls might help out …”

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“Get new leadership in this county. They have failed to improve Rockdale economically, their divisiveness has alienated residents and undercut the effectiveness of departments that could actually improve conditions in this county, their expenditures have been frivolous and ego-driven, and they failed their end of the bargain for HOST. Voters asked for a 100 percent exemption in exchange for the 1 percent sales tax. If the BOC can’t keep their end of the bargain on improvements and promises, then why should they still be in office?”

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“Offer an anonymous online tip line, or two. Not the current outdated 20th century phone-call tip line but an online website that takes anonymous tips via PC or Smartphone. Newton County Sheriff had one in 2010. They also had one to report road problems. This would work for students to report classmates suspected of doing drugs or crime. It would also be helpful to report our crazy neighbors that continually cross the line, have the sheriff at their house five to six times a year, and appear regularly on the Police Blotter. They know people in the neighborhood are reporting them. We fear if they find out who, they will slash our tires, kill our pets, or somehow make us pay. We could give the sheriff’s department a heads up to their antics in time to make a difference. Allow for photos to be attached, too.”

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