DeKalb County Commissioner, community seek holistic approach to stop violence – WSB-TV Channel 2

DeKalb County commissioner wants crime to stop at gas stations Gas stations in DeKalb County have turned deadly after numerous shootings have left neighbors injured or killed.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – The legal system doesn’t appear to be a deterrent to crime, something DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson says needs to change.

Cochran-Johnson told Channel 2’s Justin Carter this is something that keeps her awake at night – shootings and murders plaguing gas stations and convenience stores in DeKalb.

In February, a man was shot at a gas station on Redan and Panola.

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In March, a young father was shot and killed, caught in the crossfire of a shootout on Covington Highway.

Last week, a clerk was shot in the face at a gas station on Candler Road.

“What is going on?” Carter asked Cochran-Johnson.

“Let me say, you can’t legislate morality and decency,” she said.

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So what can be done? Cochran-Johnson said authorities will make criminals aware.

On Saturday, hundreds of people took a stand in a rally on Hairston Road, holding signs and demanding that the violence stop.

Lance Hammonds, chairman of the Rockbridge Coalition, was on hand and said they spearheaded a new program to get local businesses on the same page.

“Basically, it’s a program to ask the businesses to work with us. We ask them to put up the proper signage, the lighting … inside and outside the property. The cameras, the ‘no loitering’ signs, ”he said.

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So far, 15 businesses are on board.

“We’ll provide them with a sticker to let us know that they are a community certified business and that lets the community know that this business is with us … and we’re gonna support them wholeheartedly,” he said.

John Hammond works security at gas stations throughout the metro and says he carries two guns and wears a bulletproof vest everyday.

“We are in a new day and time. We don’t have that luxury to be that relaxed at the gas pump,” Hammond said. “What I would suggest is to be conscious of your environment at all times. Pump your gas, stay off the phone. ”

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