EAST ATLANTA — As more Americans go mobile-only for their telecommunications devices, getting emergency help via 911 can sometimes cause problems in Atlanta, particularly for residents in the portion of the city that's in DeKalb County and abut neighborhoods in its unincorporated areas.
The problem: If you live in the Atlanta-in-DeKalb neighborhoods of East Atlanta, Candler Park, Lake Claire, Kirkwood or Edgewood, you're likely to get DeKalb 911 instead of the city of Atlanta's emergency response team.
And if you live in the unincorporated DeKalb County communities of Gresham Park or Eastland Heights, which are south of the East Atlanta neighborhood, calling 911 might get an emergency operator from either Atlanta or DeKalb.
It explains why Atlanta City Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong introduced legislation at the Sept. 3 meeting to create the District 5 Atlanta-in-DeKalb Police Jurisdiction Task Force.
The task force, which was supported unanimously by the City Council, aims to address concerns expressed by Atlanta-in-DeKalb residents.
The 14-member task force will be comprised of representatives of the mayor, council president, council public safety committee chair, DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson and the Atlanta and DeKalb County police departments.
Its formation also is designed to address the slow response times some residents have said they experience when calling the 911 system.
"A recent 911 call in the Atlanta-in-DeKalb area which resulted in both Atlanta and DeKalb County police officers responding, as well as confusion over which police department should actually handle the call, prompted me to establish this task force,” Archibong said in a statement.
“The safety of our citizens is of paramount importance to our city. Through the work of this task force, we hope to conclusively resolve all barriers to our Atlanta-in-DeKalb citizens’ calls being accurately and properly handled by the 911 call center.”