After Decatur and DeKalb Police and the DeKalb Sheriff’s Office took part in a manhunt that occurred on the south side of Decatur earlier this week, we followed up with Decatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross, who responded to a few of our questions that may help us all be better prepared if we were ever to find ourselves in the midst of a similar event.
What are some of the most obvious signs that you’re in the midst of a police chase/manhunt?
If you see a flurry of police activity, multiple officers, police vehicles, sirens and blue lights, officers from various agencies, officers with guns drawn or carrying rifles or shotguns, officers with K9s that appear to be looking for something or someone, chasing someone, traversing yards, fences and wooded areas, assume we are searching for someone and that this is a dangerous situation.
What should you do if you find yourself in the midst of a manhunt?
If you are passing through an area in a vehicle and observe this type of police activity, be on alert for someone approaching your vehicle as it could be a suspect looking for a way out of the area. An example of this recently occurred in Oakhurst on July 12th when the suspect who robbed the Family Dollar attempted to carjack a passing vehicle while trying to get away. If you are a pedestrian or cyclist, change your course to get away from the activity.
What shouldn’t you do?
Please do not approach officers to ask questions when they are working to catch a suspect. We have had residents approach us, while we were focused on the situation with guns drawn, to ask us what is going on. It is not safe for you or the officers. Suspects and these types of situations are unpredictable, tense and dangerous.
Should you go outside? If not, how will you be made aware that it’s safe to go outside?