DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Deputies with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office hit the road on October 8, 2020, for an operation called Project Safe Home, rounding up domestic violence suspects. The arrests coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“We have seen an increase in the domestic violence warrants that have come through,” said Captain Antonius Evans with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.READ MORE: Tampa Pharmacy Starts Vaccinating People At Their Homes
What started out as door knocks ended as arrests for several suspects. The deputies served several types of warrants. “From simple battery to aggravated assault, some were felonies, and some were misdemeanors,” Evans said.
The deputies involved in this project are members of the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU), and they completed the first two phases of the project in May and August, yielding a total of 45 arrests. As of this week, which is the end of Phase 3, authorities say they arrested an additional 26 suspects, bringing the total to 71.
I followed @DeKalb_Sheriff deputies out on the road today during their Project Safe Home operation. They arrested several suspects on outstanding domestic violence warrants. pic.twitter.com/UJTPccx25k
— Valencia E. Jones (@vjreports3) October 9, 2020READ MORE: Local Businesses Debate Whether Or Not To Require Masks Again
“I want to personally thank all the officers for this accomplishment on behalf of the victims of domestic violence,” said Sheriff Melody Maddox, who also commended Evans for his role in overseeing the unit.
CW69’s Valencia Jones followed deputies on the road as they tracked down suspects, placed them in handcuffs and took them to jail. Many of the suspects were at their homes and had multiple warrants. One person was initially detained for hindering an arrest and later released.
The DVU cleared 490 warrants for domestic violence so far this year and about 145 are still outstanding.
Maddox shared her message for domestic violence suspects, saying, “It will not be tolerated in DeKalb County.” She had one for the victims as well. “We are here to serve and make sure they are safe out in the community, as well as out in their homes,” she said. To report these crimes, she urges victims to call the agency’s Domestic Violence Hotline at (404) 298-8300MORE NEWS: Local Organization Spreads Awareness About Dangers Of Red Tide
Evans said the unit may add another phase to Project Safe Home before the end of the year.