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Move-Over Law

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Hello Crime Stoppers! We hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Picture yourself driving in your car. You are going the speed limit, you have your seatbelt on, and you always use your turn signal. You consider yourself a good and safe driver. What would your reaction be, though, if you approached an emergency vehicle on the side of the road? Slow down? Keep going? What is the appropriate measure to take to ensure the safety of the emergency responders, construction workers, and law enforcement? Simple. Move over!

Georgia implemented the Move-Over Law in 2007 to encourage drivers to move over a lane when they see law enforcement and/or emergency vehicles on the side of the road. The law was designed for those whose work requires them to be on the side of busy interstates and highways safe from drivers. The law was implemented after the alarming facts about the number of law enforcement officials who were killed as a result of being hit while outside of their police cruisers. The FBI reports thirteen such deaths occur each year. In order to prevent these deaths from occurring, Move-Over  asks drivers to change lanes and give workers clearance while they are on the side of the road. The penalty for failure to move over can be up to a $500 fine.

A portion of the law is below:

“Move-Over-Law: Georgia Code, Title 40-6-16.

A. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or blue lights shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:

1. Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

2. If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

B. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary towing or recovery vehicle or a stationary highway maintenance vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, or red lights shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:

1. Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the towing, recovery, or highway maintenance vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

2. If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

C . Violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00.

For more information visit:

http://bit.ly/1j8Omzs

So, next time you see someone on the side of the road simply switch lanes. This will keep you and the person(s) on the side of the road safe!

Happy Independence Day and Georgia’s Safe Carry Protection Act

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Happy Independence Day, Crime Stoppers! Friday not only means the beginning of a long weekend, but also a celebration of our freedom with barbecues, fireworks, and time with family and friends.  Even the week of the 4th, though, is not without some disagreements. This week Georgians are faced with a new and controversial gun law. The new state laws leaves Georgians a bit divided on the breadth of our Second Amendment right.

Beginning July 1 Georgia’s Safe Carry Protection Act will take effect in the State of Georgia. As citizens of the great state of Georgia and Metro Atlanta’s Crime Stoppers, it is important to understand what this act entails.

The following changes are being made with the to Georgia Firearms Carry Law:

Government Buildings

Persons who have a Georgia Weapons Carry License can now carry their weapons into government buildings unless the building has security personnel which dictate otherwise. This excludes courthouses in which weapons are always prohibited.

 Municipal Courts and Judges

Judges at Atlanta Municipal Court and other State and Superior Courts are now permitted by law to carry weapons inside the courtroom.

Commercial Service Airports

No person, licensed or otherwise, is permitted to pass through a Hartsfield Jackson International Airport security checkpoint with a weapon of any kind. A licensed carrier will be given an opportunity to properly check and/or secure their weapon.

Public Housing

Cities are prohibited from any regulating or restricting lawful possession of firearms in public housing.

Schools

Board of Education employees have been permitted to carry weapons in schools since 2010, they must now undergo training.

Places of Worship and Bars

Bars have been removed from the list of prohibited places. Licensed carriers are permitted to carry in places of worship if the leadership of the establishment permits it.

The bill, which is can be found by clicking on this link http://1.usa.gov/1qrr8a9, clearly defines the restrictions/freedoms this bill.

Some believe that House Bill 60 will is essential to our freedoms under the Second Amendment while others fear the expanding territory of some gun owners. From a law enforcement perspective, some believe that this bill and others like it blur the lines between the public and private sector.

No matter your personal opinion on Georgia’s Safe Carry Protection Act, take the time to read and understand the bill that will soon become law. If you have questions or concerns contact your Georgia House Representative. If you are not sure who your House Representative is visit the following websites:

District Map

http://bit.ly/1m2RQ5r

List of Georgia House of Representatives

http://1.usa.gov/1lszDtH

 

Should Bullying Be Considered a Crime

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

It’s always a tragedy to hear multiple stories day in and day out about bullying occurring in our schools across the country. This is the very place where children are to learn, grow and ultimately feel safe, but that isn’t the case. Cases of extreme bullying have been quite prevalent amongst students who bully. Headlines like “Disabled 13-year-old Brooklyn girl hurled off moving bus by bully; fall breaks her collarbone” and “9-Year-Old Girl Forced to Drink Toilet Water at School” leaves us with the question: Should bullying be a considered a crime?

Bullying has been a national epidemic that has been traced back from the Columbine High School shooting which occurred back in 1999. There were allegations that bullying was the motive behind the teenage boy’s massacre shooting. In that same year Georgia was the first to put in place an anti-bullying law. There after, all states put in place laws, policies or both with the exception of Montana.

According to Georgia law, “the term ‘bullying’ means an act which occurs on school property, on school vehicles, at designated school bus stops, or at school related functions or activities, or by use of data or software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, computer network, or other electronic technology of a local school systems.” Surprisingly it doesn’t protect all students.

In Section 2 states “each local board of education shall adopt policies, applicable to students in grades six through 12, that prohibit a policy that prohibits bullying of a student by another student and shall require such prohibition to be included in the student code of conduct for middle and high schools in that school system.” Most children in grades six to 12 adhere to their school districts disciplinary action but will never make it to a court of law.

On April 16, 2009 an A and B fifth grade student from Dekalb County hung and killed himself; the cause was bullying. After the students death the school board expressed condolences, saying the school staff “works diligently to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all students.” This wasn’t the first complaint of bullying; in fact there were several complaints. So how will students 5th grade and under be reprimanded? What are your thoughts?

Do you feel parents should be held accountable for their child’s actions?

For more information on bullying please visit www.stopbullying.gov

What About your Rights?

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

During 2010, U.S. residents age 12 or older experienced an estimated 18.7 million violent and property crime victimizations, down from 20.1 million in 2009 and 24.2 million in 2001, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). No one wants to become a victim of a crime, but what do you do after the crime has occurred? How do you cope and move on with your life? The state of Georgia has several options on how you can get your life back on track.

The Atlanta Victim Assistance works with you to protect your rights in court and help with the healing process in the aftermath of violence. This program emerged independently in 2005 after the enactment of the Georgia Crime Victims Bill of Rights.

The Georgia Crime Victims Bill of Rights provides individuals who are victims of certain crimes specific rights. Most are aware of the rights such as the right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of the arrest, release, or escape of the accused and the right to be heard at any scheduled court proceedings involving the release, plea, or sentencing of the accused. But did you know that you have other rights such as the right to restitution as provided by law?

 

The Crime Victims Compensation Program was established for two primary purposes, to assist victims with debt incurred as a result of violent crime, and to encourage victims to participate in the criminal justice system.  Covered expenses include medical, dental, mental health counseling, funeral expenses, economic support and crime scene clean-up.

Even if you aren’t a victim and want to volunteer your services, the Atlanta Victim Assistance offers several opportunities for you to help make a difference in a victim’s life. Visit the Atlanta Victim Assistance website at www.atlantava.org

GA's 13th Annual "Stop Violence against Women" Day

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Today (February 2nd), the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV) hosted a discussion and rally at the state capitol. GCADV urged the state to work actively against domestic abuse and to continue funding essential services for victims (1).

Domestic violence is an important issue: Georgia has the 6th highest rate of men killing women (2) and the 15th for domestic violence in the nation (3).

Violence against women is not only a problem for women. Domestic violence hurts entire families and communities.

Womenshealth.org suggests these ways you can help:

  • Call the police if you see or hear evidence of domestic violence.
  • Support a friend or family member who may be in an abusive relationship. Learn more about how to help.
  • Volunteer at a local domestic violence shelter or other organization that helps survivors or works to prevent violence.
  • Raise children to respect others. Teach children to treat others as they would like to be treated.
  • Lead by example. Work to create a culture that rejects violence as a way to deal with problems. Speak up against messages that say violence or mistreating women is okay.
  • Become an activist. Participate in an anti-violence event like a local Take Back the Night march. Tell your congressional representatives that you want them to support domestic violence services and violence prevention programs.
  • Volunteer in youth programs. Become a mentor. Get involved in programs that teach young people to solve problems without violence. Get involved with Choose Respect or other programs that teach teens about healthy relationships.
  • Ask about anti-violence policies and programs at work and school. At work, ask about policies that deal with sexual harassment, for example. On campus, ask about services to escort students to dorms safely at night and other safety measures.

Domestic abuse can be physical and emotional, and should never be underestimated or ignored.

New Year's Resolution: Stop Losses Before They Start!

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Merchandise & Cash Company Property Supplies Food & Drinks

 

Part of everyone’s job is to protect the assets of the company that employs them and to treat them like their own.  There are many ways the company loses its property, including waste, negligence, carelessness, taking shortcuts, improper paperwork, and theft.  These are the things everyone can help prevent by being more aware of their work environment every day.

 

  • Paperwork errors, waste, negligence, and carelessness are all related to one thing:  Not taking the time to do the job right the first time, every time.  If a job has to be done twice because someone didn’t take the time to do it correctly, then both time and effort are wasted.  Pay attention to all details of a task, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem.  Small mistakes add up to big problems.  Unnecessary waste adds up to large losses.  Save resources whenever possible.

 

 

  • Theft is something most people prefer not to talk about.  Unfortunately, it is a fact of life, and its occurrence contributes a great deal to financial problems faced by many businesses today.  Whether it is caused by the customer who takes an extra item or two from the store, or an employee who removes items from the workplace without paying for it, it all contributes to the enormous problem of shortage.

 

Everyone should take care and pride in their work.  If they did, many causes of shortage would be eliminated just by being thorough and aware of their surroundings.

 

Take care and never become involved in the theft of any item, not merchandise, company property, or someone else’s personal belongings.  Being implicated in this can cause serious consequences, including workplace discipline, termination or even prosecution.

 

Bill Bregar has over 30 years of retail loss prevention and security experience.  He is President of Loss Prevention Systems, Inc., (www.LossPreventionSystems.com) a Georgia based firm that specializes in retail loss prevention, anti-shoplifting,  investigations, and security.  He can be contacted at 770-426-7593 x101 or by email at [email protected].

 

Parental Surprise

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

If you’re a parent of a teenager, chances are you don’t expect a call informing you that your child is in the custody of the juvenile authorities, or is being held by the loss prevention department of some retail store, and could you please come pick him up.

Fortunately, I have never received that call either, but as a loss prevention manager in the past, I have had to make that call more times than I care to remember.

The first reaction from the parent was usually, “No, that can’t be my child.  My child would never do anything like that”, or “My child is at the basketball game with her friend.”  Very few of them knew it was just a matter of time, or were happy that it was ”only” shoplifting.

The point is that you don’t always know where your teenager is or who she is with.

Are there signs a parent should look for if they suspect their adolescent is shoplifting?

The first thing to do is to be familiar with your teenager’s closet.  Teenagers normally get their clothes and jewelry in one or two ways: the parent either buys it for them, or gives them the money or credit card to buy it with.  When a teenager says that they borrowed clothing from someone, check it out, and have them return it immediately.  If there are items that you don’t remember buying, find out where they came from.

Know who your kids hang out with.  Get to know their parents if you can.  It takes allies to overcome sneakiness, sometimes.  Occasionally call the friend’s house where they are supposed to be (not your child’s cell phone) and find out if they are there.  This doesn’t have to be done in an accusatory way.  In business we call this an “audit.”

Know how much your child’s wardrobe costs. Are the items too expensive for your teenager’s budget?  There have been too many times that parents have given money for clothes or even school supplies and the merchandise ended up stolen and the money spent on movies and food.

Before you even suspect that your teenager may be mixed up with shoplifting, have a frank discussion with him about stealing from retail stores and the serious impact it can have on his future.

You can rely on the fact that at some time your child is going to be faced with the decision to shoplift because of peer pressure or the belief that it is a victimless crime that will go unpunished.  Be sure that when you allow them out on their own that they are equipped with the facts about shoplifting and the consequences of their actions if the decide to yield to the temptation.

 

Bill Bregar has over 30 years of retail loss prevention and security experience.  He is President of Loss Prevention Systems, Inc., (www.LossPreventionSystems.com) a Georgia based firm that specializes in retail loss prevention, anti-shoplifting strategies, employee theft investigations, and security.  He can be contacted at 770-426-7593 or by email at [email protected].

 

 

Be Careful! Hit & Runs on the Rise

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011



There has been an increase in hit & run accidents in the metro Atlanta area. It seems that people are choosing self preservation instead of personal responsibility. In recent news, two victims were hit and killed while on the highway. Also, a man was hit while driving his scooter. In this case, the driver stopped to pull the scooter from under his/her car and kept on going.

There are many contributing factors to hit & runs. Some factors include unlicensed or illegal drivers and the fear of DUI penalties. For example, if an illegal immigrant is involved in a hit & run and he/she stays on the scene, there is a potential risk for deportation and other consequences.

If you are involved in an accident, take some responsibility instead of fleeing the scene. A person’s life may depend on it. Georgia hit & run laws state that you must render reasonable assistance,  including the transporting, or the making of arrangements for the transporting, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such transporting is requested by the injured person. A driver is subject to between one –five years of incarceration

So when you have to get out of your car in traffic or on the highway, take precaution. Take a look below at some tips that will help keep you safe on the road.

 

  • Set up flares even in daylight. People equate flares with an accident, so they’ll be on alert.
  • What are you wearing? If you need to get out of your vehicle at night to fix that flat tire, make sure that your clothing is noticeable to approaching motorists.
  • Try to move your vehicle to the right-hand side of the road out of the direction of traffic. Stationing yourself on a divided highway’s left side is extremely dangerous but sometimes unavoidable. Do not leave your stopped vehicle in a traffic lane.
  • Move the vehicle as far away from the traffic as you can. Try to get far enough that you obtain the space to open your door without stepping out into traffic, while also being visible so that people can see you.
  • Be prepared! Keep items like flashlights, flares, blankets, and a first-aid kit in your vehicle.

 

For more information on roadside safety please visit

http://www.aaafoundation.org

http://www.nhtsa.gov/

 

Jeepers Creepers, Office Creepers

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

 

An Office Creeper isn’t an insect and he doesn’t come out just at Halloween, but it is a critter you’d like to avoid.

Creepers have also been known to pose as delivery personnel, service people, or maintenance men who are given access to the office or warehouse by a trusting employee; or they sometimes enter the building through an unlocked back door or open delivery entrance.  Again, it only takes a few moments for merchandise, equipment, or personal possessions to disappear.An Office Creeper is someone from another department, a non-employee, visitor or anyone who can blend in with the staff at a business and not look out of place.  The Creeper then looks for anything of value, particularly laptop computers, PDA’s, cell phones, wallets and purses.  Anything left unattended can be gone in just a few seconds.  It only takes a moment to conceal an item under a coat or in a briefcase.

Since there is no immediate evidence of the theft – no broken windows, no broken locks – this is a very difficult crime to stop.  The loss is often not detected until long after the Creeper has left the building or the property.

This is also a difficult crime to prevent.  The most obvious way is to lock all doors and stock areas that are unattended.  Keep personal possessions such as wallets and purses in a locked drawer or locker if they are not in your possession.  Valuables should always be out of sight.

Be sure all employees where you work are aware that they should always be alert for people that they don’t know or non-employees being in areas where they have no business.

 

Bill Bregar has over 30 years of retail loss prevention and security experience.  He is President of Loss Prevention Systems, Inc., (www.LossPreventionSystems.com) a Georgia based firm that specializes in retail loss prevention, anti-shoplifting,  investigations, and security.  He can be contacted at 770-426-7593 or by email at [email protected].

 

 

Back to School Shoplifting

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Guest blogger, Bill Bregar warns retailers about back to school shoplifting.

Watch out retailers!  Back to school shopping means back to school shoplifting time is here.

Unfortunately, any event that brings in shoppers to a retail store is also likely to attract shoplifters.  It happens at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, you name it, any time there is shopping to be done, someone will try to beat the system, stealing either for themselves or for resale.

 

All kinds of businesses are included in the back to school rush: department stores and apparel shops for new clothes; drug stores and discounters for school supplies; even art supply houses for specialty items.  Some items are necessities (the supplies) and some are not (brand name clothing and shoes).  Even electronics like calculators and computers have made it to the shoplifters’ wish list.

 

Inventory levels are high, ads have been running, extra staff is on duty.  What else is there to do?

Take advantage of every opportunity you have to remind the staff to be aware that there will be shoplifters out among the legitimate customers.  Each time there is a store wide or departmental meeting, remind the employees of your business’ policy toward shoplifters.  If you don’t have a policy, you should develop one so that everyone knows what to do when a shoplifting event occurs.

Your policy is what you make it.  Do you have certain employees who are authorized to approach shoplifters?  Do you make “ghost calls” over your PA system to try to make the shoplifters ditch your merchandise?  Whatever your policy is, be sure all supervisors, managers, and employees are on board so that a situation doesn’t get out of hand.

The keys to maintaining an adequate defense against shoplifters in large or small stores are: education and training of all employees; reinforcement; and planning and executing a workable policy that delegates and specifies responsibilities.

 

Bill Bregar has over 30 years of retail loss prevention and security experience.  He is President of Loss Prevention Systems, Inc., (www.LossPreventionSystems.com) a Georgia based firm that specializes in retail loss prevention, anti-shoplifting strategies, employee theft investigations, and security.  He can be contacted at 770-426-7593 or by email at [email protected].