The police report at the July 17 Cherokee Village City Council meeting displayed a 42 percent increase in crime in the last three months.
In June 2008, there were 37 theft of property crimes compared to only 13 two months earlier in April of 2008. During June 2006, there were 21 crimes, and only 22 during June of 2007. Although the statistics show an increase in theft during summer months, an increase from year to year had the Cherokee Village City Council asking what the problem was.
Suggestions of lenient judges and easy access to lakefront homes from boats were given by council members, but Mayor Lloyd Hefley said both of those are most likely not what's causing the increase.
"They're stealing copper, gasoline, anything they can get their hands on," Hefley said.
A memo sent out to Cherokee Village police officers stated that an average of four to seven theft of property crimes occur each month, but now rates have tripled. In response to this situation, the police report informed council members that officers were doing extra patrols in the areas of high crime frequency.
Areas of highest frequency were indicated as those areas northwest of Paradise Park, east of Lake Cherokee and Lake Sequoyah, northwest of Industrial Park, and according to Alderman Verna Mae Newman, at "fast-in, fast-out places."
Hefley assured the board that the police were working diligently to solve the crimes.
"Sooner or later, these things will be solved," Hefley said.
Hefley also said that he is hoping to meet with other Sharp County mayors and discuss the status of their crime rate and how Cherokee Village compares with their statistics.
Three ordinances were passed by the council concerning property and structures that have become a "public nuisance" within city limits.
The ordinances allow the city of Cherokee Village to bring cases concerning property citations straight to the City Council instead of going first through a judge, among other things. A state law changing the way citations are handled allows Cherokee Village to change their current process.
A septic system has been drawn out for the Spring River Animal Shelter by the Cherokee Village Planning and Zoning.
Planning and Zoning said they are not in charge of the new system but are simply helping the city of Cherokee Village design the structure. Plans have been drawn up and have already gone through the health department.
When asked by Alderman Peter Martin if they are thinking into the future when designing the sewage system, it was clarified that the system is being built for a projected amount of animal occupants. The new system will be able to provide a sewage system for twice the current capacity of animals. In comparison with other cities, Jonesboro, a much larger city, has four septic tanks and three are being installed at the Spring River Animal Shelter.
Michael Taylor of the Cherokee Village Fire Department submitted a proposal for emergency generators to be installed at both the fire department and the Cherokee Village Police Department.
Taylor said the generators are a necessity to ensure the community will not be interrupted during a power outage.
The proposal included $4,399.98 for two automatic switch emergency generators, $1,600 for two, used, 250-gallon gas tanks along with necessary items, $100 to move and set the items and a possible $863 for 400 gallons of propane, bringing the total amount requested to $6,962.
Taylor also informed the council that the pancake breakfast brought in almost $1,500 which will be matched by Modern Woodmen of America.
A new police officer was hired for the Cherokee Village Police Department.
Jason Martin has worked previously with the Fulton County Police Department and has a total of two years experience and is a certified police officer.