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A Word from the Chief
(Left to right) Officer Travis Quimby, CPD Explorers Kashawn Leonard, Vivian Wofford and Valentina Radovanovic and Chief Gene Wilson.

I am excited about being able to tell each of you through this monthly column about the Conyers Police Department and the work we are doing as well as recognizing the dedicated employees that work so hard to make your community safer.

We continuously work on establishing, organizing and participating in local groups to share information, tips and leads with surrounding agencies. We have participated in one particular group, an interagency investigative group called the East Side Investigators, since 2004. This group is comprised of detectives from our department, Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, Covington Police Department, Newton County Sheriff’s Office, Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, and the DeKalb County Police Department East Precinct. Each month a different member agency is responsible for hosting the meeting for the group.

On February 22, 2011, a detective from one of these agencies contacted our detectives and relayed information that he had received that a person by the name of David Bell, 42, of 185 Windsor Way, Oxford, was stealing copper from the Best Western Hotel in Conyers on Covington Highway across from Home Depot. The hotel went into foreclosure during construction and is currently sitting vacant.

Our detectives began checking recycle yards and found that Bell was frequently selling copper to Odyssey Battery Sales in Covington. In fact, Bell had sold over two hundred pounds of bare bright grade copper wire for $3.03 a pound.

Our detectives along with NCSO investigators conducted a search warrant and detectives arrested Bell and charged him with burglary. At Bell’s residence, detectives found a smoldering fire pit where insulation used to coat copper wire was still burning. Detectives also found a manhole cover from Cobb County, several other items, and a tool bag that contained saws, bolt cutters, headlamps, walkie talkies and gloves.

We were also recently able to stop a bank robber from escaping the community through fast thinking and team work. More on that in next month’s column, as we are still actively processing this case.

We also kicked off our most current Community Relations Project earlier this week at the Olivia Haydell Senior Center. On March 7, 2011, Officer Debbi Krisher and Officer Thomas Owen held the first class for the Conyers Police Senior Citizens Police Academy. This is the first academy of its kind since it was last held in 2005 and is sponsored specifically for senior citizens. This six week program lasts one hour each week. Topics that will be covered include special operations, patrol, specialized vehicles and equipment, criminal investigations, and identification fraud and the elderly. There were 60 participants in the first class and they are scheduled to graduate on April 11, 2011.

We also have an active Explorer POST, and we are very proud of their accomplishments. The Explorer POST currently has 12 members, and we only have three openings for any interested individuals at this time. The Explorers are a self-sustaining unit as they hold fundraisers throughout the year and accept donations in order to pay for their uniforms, equipment, competition entry fees and expenses to attend competitions.

Officer Travis Quimby is the lead adviser for the Explorer POST and receives assistance from other members of the department. Most recently, the Explorers went to Alabama to compete in the Alabama State Competition against 20 other teams where they placed second in the Arrest and Search Event and second in the Hostage Negotiations Event. The explorers were chaperoned by Billie Powell, Officer Everett Searcy and Officer John Bruce, all who volunteered their time and paid their own expenses.