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Gwinnett deputies arrest man accused of threatening Superior Court judge, other criminal justice system employees

A man accused of threatening a Gwinnett County Superior Court judge and other members of the criminal justice system has been arrested by Gwinnett deputies.

The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that Micquel Deandre Gay, 36, was arrested on charges of making terroristic threats, possession of firearms by a convicted felon and conducting criminal gang activity and booked into the Rockdale County Jail. Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Ashley Castiblanco said Gay made the threat against the judge, who has not been identified by law enforcement, after his motion to have probation on a previous charge was denied. The judge who was threatened was the judge who denied his motion.

“He utilized social media to publicly threaten to shoot said Judge and shut down the county courthouses,” Castiblanco said. “His threats also extended to all active employees of the criminal justice system and he reassured his threats were ‘real and valid.’ In the 24-minute live video, Gay makes multiple threats of killing law enforcement and public officials and proceeds to demonstrate his firearm.

“Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Unit began an investigation and obtained the warrants for Gay’s arrest”

The Sheriff’s Office’s investigators worked with the office’s Fugitive and T.R.A.C.E. units and the Gwinnett County Police Department Aviation Unit to track Gay down to a location in Rockdale County. The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office assisted Gwinnett deputies in arresting Gay before he was taken to Rockdale County’s jail.

Gwinnett Sheriff's Office announces addition of two bomb detecting K9s

The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office has some new four-legged help that can sniff out bombs.

The Sheriff’s Office announced it is gaining two new K-9 deputies who are trained to find explosives. Deputy Patrick Newton will be paired with K-9 Dizla while Deputy Walter Pollock will be paired with K-9 Tina.

The two teams have undergone more than 230 hours of training in explosive detection to prepare them for their new job.

“We are committed to the preservation of life, community safety, and protection of property,” Sheriff Keybo Taylor said. “Our strategic proactive safety measures such as these K-9s promote a safer Gwinnett. I examined our safety protocols and enacted extra security precautions in all areas throughout the courthouse.

“This added protection will reduce chances of incidents occurring. We are appreciative of the training and hard work our K-9 Unit has demonstrated in the last few weeks.”

The Sheriff’s Office now has four dual-purpose K-9s who are trained in patrolling and narcotics in addition to the new bomb detecting K-9s.

In addition to the training and additions of K-9s Dizla and Tina and their handlers, the Sheriff’s Office said Cpl. Jason Cotton received his advanced trainers certification in narcotics, explosives and patrol while Deputy Neil Butler received his basic trainer certification in narcotics, explosives and patrol.

The two new K-9s will be used to conduct sweeps for explosives at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, as well as any other government building where their services are requested.

The explosives detecting K-9s will also be used in conjunction with the Executive Protection Unit that handles specialized details. They will be available to help neighboring law enforcement agencies when requested as well.

“We wish our GCSO K-9 Unit the best in their new roles and appreciate their diligent work,” the Sheriff’s Office said in an announcement.

Gwinnett County Public Schools says 611 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 have been reported in district's schools

There are more than 600 active cases of COVID-19 in Gwinnett’s schools, according to figures released by Gwinnett County Public Schools on Tuesday morning.

GCPS announced on Tuesday that there are 611 active confirmed cases of COVID, and another 177 probable cases, in the district’s schools. That is in addition to 943 active close contacts in the schools.

The data reflects information provided to officials at local schools through the end of Monday. The numbers also show that, while the number of active confirmed cases dropped from last Thursday to last Friday, they shot up sharply coming out of the weekend.

There had only been 456 active confirmed cases in the district’s schools as of the end of the day on Friday, as well as 138 probable cases and 749 close contacts.

In all, there were 866 new confirmed and probable cases and close contacts reported to the district on Monday.

Gwinnett County Public Schools COVID-19 report for Aug. 17, 2021

Mill Creek High School had one of the highest numbers of new confirmed cases reported. District officials said in a report on Tuesday that 13 confirmed cases were reported at Mill Creek on Monday.

Brookwood High School was the only other school that reported double digit new confirmed cases on Monday, with 10 cases reported there.

Archer High School, which already had one of the highest numbers of total active confirmed cases in the district, reported eight new confirmed cases on Monday.

The total active case numbers can shift up and down over time because it is a reflection of how many people have COVID-19, may have it or are considered a close contact at the time of the daily report. They are not cumulative totals for the entire school year to date.

Mill Creek High School now has the highest number of active confirmed cases — 18 as of Tuesday’s report — and it also has two probable cases and 20 close contacts.

Archer High School currently has 18 active confirmed cases of COVID-19, as well as 10 probable cases and 18 close contacts.

Brookwood High School now has 16 active confirmed cases and 16 close contacts.

Berkmar High School also has 16 active confirmed cases, as well as two probable cases and one close contact.

Similarly, Collins Hill High School is another school that currently has 16 active confirmed cases. It also has four probable cases and 11 close contacts.

Other schools that have double digit numbers of active confirmed cases include:

Harbins Elementary School: 14 confirmed cases, eight probable cases and 18 close contacts

McConnell Middle School: 14 confirmed cases, one probable case and seven close contacts

Mountain View High School: 12 confirmed cases, four probable cases and eight close contacts

Dacula Elementary School: 11 confirmed cases, 23 close contacts

Duluth High School: 10 confirmed cases, two probable cases, 10 close contacts

Grayson High School: 10 confirmed cases, three probable cases, six close contacts

Jackson Elementary School: 10 confirmed cases, six close contacts

Shiloh High School: 10 confirmed cases, one probable case and 12 close contacts

As far as district office divisions go, the Facilities and Operations Division continue to make up nearly all of the confirmed cases and close contacts reported in the district offices. There are 16 confirmed cases and close contacts reported in district office, with 14 of them (11 of the confirmed cases and three of the close contacts) being in the Facilities and Operations division.

Gwinnett Place CID, county police say Flock Safety cameras key to drop in crime; more cameras to be added

The Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District is expanding its network of Flock Safety automatic license plate reading cameras.

The CID’s board of directors recently voted to add more cameras around the district. Fifty cameras were installed in 36 locations around the CID in partnership with the Gwinnett County Police Department last year, and the new expansion of that effort will bring that total to 63 cameras in the district.

“The CID remains committed to keeping Gwinnett Place safe and inviting with various safety initiatives like community patrols, graffiti removal, right-of-way landscape maintenance and the Flock Safety cameras,” Gwinnett Place CID Executive Director Joe Allen said.

“In addition to the added security cameras, the CID-funds daily community patrols, resulting in nearly 5,000 hours patrolling the area annually. The CID is committed to keeping its businesses, residents and visitors safe in the district.”

Police and CID officials said the cameras have been a major help in catching wanted suspects. The cameras operate 24 hours a day and send immediate alerts to police officers if they scan license plates from vehicles that are reported stolen as well as plate numbers associated with people who are wanted by law enforcement.

Officers can also search the cameras database for vehicles that they are looking for.

One stat comparison that officials pointed to in an increase in stolen vehicle arrests that Gwinnett police officers were able to make for stolen vehicles in the district in just the first year of the cameras use.

The CID, Gwinnett police and Flock Safety said there were just two stolen vehicle arrests in 2019 but that number rose to 40 in 2020 after the cameras were installed. Across all types of arrests, Gwinnett police were able to arrest 94 people in the CID in 2020, according to a joint statement from the three groups.

“The CID’s investment in the cameras has provided the Gwinnett County Police Department with additional tools to not just to solve crime but also prevent it,” said Maj. Christopher Rafanelli, commander of the Gwinnett County Police Central Precinct. “By working with the GPCID and placing cameras throughout the district we’ve been able to deter criminals or more quickly catch those who have committed a crime.”

Officials also said that, as of June, the Gwinnett County Police Department’s Central Precinct has seen commercial burglaries drop by 42.11%, residential burglaries drop by 10.68% and car break-ins drop by 27.76% since the cameras were installed.

Those drops in crimes give police a chance to better coordinate communication with other police precincts, investigate cases and make arrests in a faster and more efficient manner.

“At Flock Safety, we know that the path to a safe community is through forging strong bonds between law enforcement and the communities they pledge to protect, which is why we’re honored to partner with Gwinnett Place CID and Gwinnett County Police,” Flock Safety Founder and CEO Garrett Langley said.

“The crime reductions that Gwinnett Place CID has seen is proof that when law enforcement, engaged and active citizens, and ethical, effective technology all work together, we really can make a demonstrable difference in public safety.”