At Issue: Will new body cameras have an effect on policing?

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At Issue: Will new body cameras have an effect on policing?

AT ISSUE: WITH ANNEXATION, NORCROSS RESIDENTS HAVE NO SAY IN NEW DEVELOPMENT

After months of the issue being tabled by the Gwinnett County Planning Commission, the Indian Trail Retail Associates LP in association with Quik Trip filed a request May 12 for annexation of 1.92 acres at the intersection of Indian Trail and Beaver Ruin roads into the city of Norcross. Quik Trip hopes to build a new, larger concept store in this location where an aging strip mall exists now. In a special called meeting June 20, Norcross approved the annexation. Residents in the Indian Crossing subdivision, directly behind the land in question feel they will have no voice in what happens next.

Here’s what readers had to say:

Appears to be yet another example of our cities’ acting on behalf of developers and commercial interests at the expense of homeowners. Annexation without homeowner approval is reprehensible. — Jerry Hossom

I know this intersection, but find it had to have an opinion. What is a Quik Trip concept store? Will this really significantly increase traffic? — Larry Morrissey

The intersection is this neighborhood’s only way in and out. The only exit from the QT will be onto the small, two-lane piece of Indian Trail. The residents can barely get out now. With additional traffic they’ll be stuck at that light. Taking extra traffic light time on the side of the intersection to allow the QT crowd out will only back up the traffic coming from the other directions even more. — Beth Wilson

The fact that affected residents were given no chance to address this issue at a public hearing before Gwinnett county or the city of Norcross speaks volumes. Residents used to have a say in matters that affected their property. — Patrick Fox

My primary concern is the police presence. Until they annexed the property we were the border between Norcross PD and Gwinnett Police. This meant that my neighborhood was used as a turn around for both. There were many days I would see multiple police in my neighborhood. What Norcross has done is cut us off completely from any area Gwinnett is responsible for. I am sure a call to 911 will get Gwinnett to my house, but we all know regular patrols stops crime before it starts. — Tracy Hughes

Residents were seemingly intentionally mislead in early June when the annexation request was tabled, until a traffic impact study could be done. We were told it would be reconsidered in July. Then a secret meeting was held later in June where the annexation was approved without residents being heard, or the traffic study completed.

The intersection is already the 5th most dangerous in the county without the increased traffic that can be expected if and when QT is built. — Karen Lieber

This affects not only us in the neighborhood , those businesses that we frequent will be gone. The traffic issue will be an even bigger nightmare than it already is. I hate that this is happening. — Paulette Pelletier

I frequent the businesses in the plaza and consider the owners friends. They have been screwed. The current owner rolled the property into a shell corporation and then declared bankruptcy in the corporation to void the leases. Now that no one has a valid lease they can simply be evicted. No one is arguing the building needs to go or have some work done to it, but those businesses deserve a fair amount of money for moving expenses. — Tracy Hughes

Karen Huppertz for the AJC

Uniformed DeKalb County police officers will be equipped with body cameras by fall if county commission plans continue on track. At a recent board meeting county officials agreed to purchace 600 state-of-the-art devices that will automatically turn on if an officer is running or appears to be in a struggle.

These units will also allow officials to access the video almost immediately.

With the recent nationwide attention on officer-involved shootings and other police conduct issues, “(The cameras are) an effort to increase transparency and police accountability,” Police Chief James Conroy said.

According to the Justice Department, 15 deaths have resulted from DeKalb police use of force since 2010.

In January, a DeKalb officer was indicted for murder in the March 2015 fatal shooting of Anthony Hill, a mentally ill military veteran. Hill was unarmed and naked at the time. Officer Robert Olsen — the officer who shot Hill — was not wearing a body camera.

What do you think? Will the use of body cameras change the way police officers do their job? Send comments to communitynews@ajc.com.

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