Chamblee police suit up for North Metro SWAT Team

This is a photo of the North Metro SWAT Team in Dunwoody, one of the multiple jurisdictions served by the team.

Credit: Dunwoody Police Department

Combined ShapeCaption
This is a photo of the North Metro SWAT Team in Dunwoody, one of the multiple jurisdictions served by the team.

Credit: Dunwoody Police Department

A highly trained SWAT team north of Atlanta will have a new member.

Chamblee’s city leaders voted Tuesday to allow its police department to join the North Metro SWAT Team, a partnership between four other cities in north DeKalb and Fulton counties. The special weapons and tactics unit responds to high-risk situations, including hostage rescues and standoffs with armed suspects.

The North Metro SWAT Team was founded in 2009 and was comprised of officers from Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs. Chamblee police Chief Kerry Thomas said three of his officers completed training to join the SWAT team’s ranks. The SWAT team is a dual assignment for the officers, who will still perform their local duties in Chamblee.

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“It offers an opportunity for us to be able to respond to a critical emergency situation a little bit faster,” Thomas said during a work session last week. The city currently relies on DeKalb County police’s SWAT team or the North Metro SWAT Team to respond to high-risk situations.

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February 19, 2021 Johns Creek: A suspect in five Sandy Springs restaurant burglaries was taken into custody Friday morning, Feb. 19, 2021 after SWAT officers surrounded him on the roof of a LongHorn Steakhouse in Johns Creek. The standoff ended peacefully about 6 a.m., four hours after a tripped burglary alarm took the first officers to the Medlock Bridge Road restaurant. Johns Creek police believe the suspect was attempting a sixth burglary when he was confronted by the officers and hid on the roof, Sgt. Tyler Seymour said. He was later identified as 28-year-old Jah’msid Nieem Ci’heed Johnson of Conyers. “My understanding is the individual was using power tools inside we believe, obviously, to try to access some type of safe or item inside the management office,” Seymor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from the scene Friday morning. Johns Creek police arrived at the steakhouse about 2 a.m. after being contacted by a security company. They determined someone had forced their way inside after spotting a broken door, Seymour said. “Upon approaching the broken door, they did realize the suspect was trying to exit out of the other side of the business, at which point the subject retreated back inside,” he said. Seymour said the man used a ladder to climb onto the roof of a storage area behind the restaurant, where he was eventually taken into custody by the North Metro SWAT Team. Johnson was taken to a hospital to be checked for any injury due to frigid weather conditions, Seymour said. Temperatures dipped into the 30s early Friday. Earlier this week, police in Sandy Springs asked for the public’s help to identify a “serial burglar” responsible for several restaurant break-ins reported early Saturday morning. In each case, the burglar smashed a front door and took money once inside, according to police. A similar method was used to break into the LongHorn, Seymour confirmed. After interviewing the man Friday morning, Sandy Springs detectives annou

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

February 19, 2021 Johns Creek: A suspect in five Sandy Springs restaurant burglaries was taken into custody Friday morning, Feb. 19, 2021 after SWAT officers surrounded him on the roof of a LongHorn Steakhouse in Johns Creek. The standoff ended peacefully about 6 a.m., four hours after a tripped burglary alarm took the first officers to the Medlock Bridge Road restaurant. Johns Creek police believe the suspect was attempting a sixth burglary when he was confronted by the officers and hid on the roof, Sgt. Tyler Seymour said. He was later identified as 28-year-old Jah’msid Nieem Ci’heed Johnson of Conyers. “My understanding is the individual was using power tools inside we believe, obviously, to try to access some type of safe or item inside the management office,” Seymor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from the scene Friday morning. Johns Creek police arrived at the steakhouse about 2 a.m. after being contacted by a security company. They determined someone had forced their way inside after spotting a broken door, Seymour said. “Upon approaching the broken door, they did realize the suspect was trying to exit out of the other side of the business, at which point the subject retreated back inside,” he said. Seymour said the man used a ladder to climb onto the roof of a storage area behind the restaurant, where he was eventually taken into custody by the North Metro SWAT Team. Johnson was taken to a hospital to be checked for any injury due to frigid weather conditions, Seymour said. Temperatures dipped into the 30s early Friday. Earlier this week, police in Sandy Springs asked for the public’s help to identify a “serial burglar” responsible for several restaurant break-ins reported early Saturday morning. In each case, the burglar smashed a front door and took money once inside, according to police. A similar method was used to break into the LongHorn, Seymour confirmed. After interviewing the man Friday morning, Sandy Springs detectives annou

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Combined ShapeCaption
February 19, 2021 Johns Creek: A suspect in five Sandy Springs restaurant burglaries was taken into custody Friday morning, Feb. 19, 2021 after SWAT officers surrounded him on the roof of a LongHorn Steakhouse in Johns Creek. The standoff ended peacefully about 6 a.m., four hours after a tripped burglary alarm took the first officers to the Medlock Bridge Road restaurant. Johns Creek police believe the suspect was attempting a sixth burglary when he was confronted by the officers and hid on the roof, Sgt. Tyler Seymour said. He was later identified as 28-year-old Jah’msid Nieem Ci’heed Johnson of Conyers. “My understanding is the individual was using power tools inside we believe, obviously, to try to access some type of safe or item inside the management office,” Seymor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from the scene Friday morning. Johns Creek police arrived at the steakhouse about 2 a.m. after being contacted by a security company. They determined someone had forced their way inside after spotting a broken door, Seymour said. “Upon approaching the broken door, they did realize the suspect was trying to exit out of the other side of the business, at which point the subject retreated back inside,” he said. Seymour said the man used a ladder to climb onto the roof of a storage area behind the restaurant, where he was eventually taken into custody by the North Metro SWAT Team. Johnson was taken to a hospital to be checked for any injury due to frigid weather conditions, Seymour said. Temperatures dipped into the 30s early Friday. Earlier this week, police in Sandy Springs asked for the public’s help to identify a “serial burglar” responsible for several restaurant break-ins reported early Saturday morning. In each case, the burglar smashed a front door and took money once inside, according to police. A similar method was used to break into the LongHorn, Seymour confirmed. After interviewing the man Friday morning, Sandy Springs detectives annou

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

To join, Chamblee agreed to pay $20,000 in initial equipment costs, and the city will have to make a large equipment purchase at some point in the future. The other four cities have all purchased police vehicles or other tactical equipment since the SWAT Team’s inception. Each city has to renew the partnership agreement each year.

The unit, which trains about 16 hours each month, consists of more than 30 members and currently serves an area with more than 280,000 residents. With Chamblee joining the team, that coverage increases to more than 300,000 people.

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