Questions and Answers

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

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Where do I call to report a crime, accident or suspicious activity?

The Ellijay Police Department, as well as other area law enforcement agencies are dispatched through the Gilmer County 911 Center. The 911 Center is usually the best place to start, as the dispatchers there can assess the nature of your call and dispatch the appropriate agency depending upon circumstances and jurisdiction. Jurisdiction in a particular incident is usually determined by “where” the actual incident took place.

Gilmer County 911 Center                             Emergency                           911

Non‑Emergency                    706.635.8911

Ellijay Police Department General Number (Monday to Friday – 9AM ‑ 5PM)        706.635.7430

Why do they ask so many questions when I call 911?

Receiving dispatchers are trained to get as much information as possible, to best determine the nature of a problem and its seriousness or priority to other pending calls. On emergency calls, the dispatcher usually has officers already on the way while they are asking for additional information.

Should I report suspicious activity that I observe?

Absolutely. Officers can not be everywhere at once. The Police Department depends on citizens calling to report crimes or suspicious activity. The dispatcher that takes your call will ask questions about the activity and descriptions of the people or vehicles involved. You may also be asked if an officer or detective may contact you to follow up. Please be assured that in all cases, we will make every effort to protect your confidentiality and require minimal involvement by you the citizen, in any criminal ease.

Can I make a police report at any time of day? Do I need an appointment?

The Ellijay Police Department will respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week to requests for assistance. You do not need an appointment to file an incident or accident report. We will complete reports on incidents or vehicle accidents that occur within the city limits of Ellijay. In some cases reports my even be able to be taken over the phone.

How do I get a copy of a report?

Copies of incident or accident reports can be obtained through our records section during regular business hours (9AM ‑ 5PM) Monday thru Friday. All reports are subject to review and approval by a supervisor and are usually ready 3 business days after filing.

Phone: 706.635.7430                              Address: 197 North Main Street, Ellijay, Georgia 30540

I have been a victim of a crime. What happens next?

If your initial report is made immediately following an incident, a uniform officer is dispatched to the scene or location of the incident.  The responding officer will make a determination what sort of follow‑up action is required.

Civil Disputes

Frequently the police are called to resolve disputes between neighbors, landlord/tenant, seller/buyer, etc. If this is the case and the responding officer determines that the issue is a civil matter, he may or may not (depending upon circumstances) complete a report and refer the involved parties to the appropriate Court for resolution.

Property Crimes (Burglary, Theft, Damage, etc.)

When called to the scene of a property crime, the responding officer will complete an initial incident report and assess the scene. In some cases, the responding officer may take photographs or collect minor physical evidence. In cases where a “WORKABLE” crime scene exists, the officer may call in a detective to process the scene for physical evidence.

Movies and Television have created a number of false impressions; with the general public over the years. Probably the biggest misconception the public has, is the use of fingerprints in solving crimes. There are times when our officers or detectives will process a scene for fingerprints; however, the use of fingerprints as a method of solving crimes is actually a lot rarer than the entertainment industry would have you believe. Some of this area’s most successful detectives have gone their entire careers without using fingerprint evidence to solve a case.

Our officers and detectives are well trained and up to date on available resources and crime scene processing. Rest assured that they will utilize whatever resources and technology are feasible in the investigation of each case. In some special cases where our department does not physically possess the necessary tools or technology, they may call in an outside agency, such as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (G.B.I.) for assistance.

Crimes Against Persons / Domestic Violence Calls

If the incident was not witnessed or a lack of visible evidence exists, the responding officer may or may not (depending upon circumstances) complete a report and refer the involved parties to the appropriate Court for resolution. In other cases, the officer may take photographs or collect minor physical evidence or he may call in a detective to take photographs, collect evidence and/or conduct a follow‑up investigation.

General Information

Whenever an incident report is filed, the report is then passed on for supervisor review and approval. During this part of the process, the incident is evaluated to determine what follow‑up action is required. If the circumstances of a particular case warrant, the case will be forwarded to a detective for follow‑up investigation.  If your case does require a follow‑up investigation, you will usually be contacted by a detective within 48 ‑ 72 hours after the filing of the initial report. The detective might speak with you only by phone or may need to set up a meeting with you, for the purpose of obtaining additional information. In most instances, the detective that contacts you will be handling your case and he will provide you with a case number. If you should come up with any additional information or have a change of address or phone number, please be certain to pass this information on to us.

An arrest was made in my case. What happens next?

When an arrest is made in your case, you will usually be contacted by the investigating officer or detective. From that point, the officer / detective will take whatever steps are necessary to complete the case file for prosecution. This completed file is then turned over to the District Attorney’s Office (DA). When your case is turned over to the DA, it’s journey through the criminal justice system is just beginning. This can frequently be a lengthy process and one that we at the police department do not have any control over.

Once the file is received by the DA, the case will be assigned to a prosecutor. At this point you might be contacted by the DA’s Office or Victim / Witness Assistance Program (VWAP), which is a program within their office. They might want to meet with you or witnesses in the case and may have additional questions concerning your expectations, restitution, etc. If you do receive a call from the DA or VWAP and details of the case are to be discussed, be sure that you know whom you are actually speaking with. Although rare, there is a potential for someone associated with the defendant to contact a victim or witness by phone and attempt to try and gather or trick them into providing information that could be damaging to a case. If you have any doubt about who you are speaking with, ask the party to hang up and allow you to place a call back to their office number. Local numbers for the DA & VWAP are:

District Attorney’s Office ‑ 706.635.5381     VWAP‑706.635.5122

In felony cases, the case must be prepared and presented before a Grand Jury for indictment. This can take anywhere from one to several months, depending upon a variety of factors (crime lab results, additional interviews, etc.). In some rare cases, you as a victim might be requested to testify, but most of the time, the case is presented to the Grand Jury by the investigating officer and you will not be required to appear.

After indictment the case is usually then placed (along with numerous others) on the court calendar for arraignment. This is the point where the defendant is required to appear and enter a plea before the court. Again, in most cases it is not necessary for victims to appear at the arraignment. If you should be needed, you will be contacted by the investigating officer or someone from the DA’s Office.

If a “not guilty” plea is entered by a defendant, the case will then be put on the trial calendar. Again, this process can be time consuming and in the interim, there may be pre‑trial hearings and my number of offers and counter‑offers exchanged between the

District Attorney’s Office and Defense Counsel, in an effort to reach a plea agreement. As the victim, you my have questions during the process and you should feel free to direct these questions to the investigating officer or District Attorney’s Office. We will make every attempt to assist you and help you through the process, to the best of our ability.

I am recently separated and need to get clothing or personal belongings from my previous residence. Can the Police Department help me?

The Police Department will accompany you to your previous residence to keep the peace while you retrieve clothing and personal property (within reason). If you former spouse disputes ownership of furnishings or other household property however, you will need to seek a court order to remove disputed items from the residence.

Can an officer unlock my car if I have locked my keys inside?

Because of the potential for damage to vehicles the Police Department does not open locked vehicles. A wrecker service or locksmith is your best alternative. However, if an emergency situation exists (like a child locked inside a vehicle) the Police and / or Fire Department will respond and open the vehicle by any means possible, even by breaking out the window if necessary.

How can I find out if someone is in jail, visiting hours etc.?

All calls concerning inmates & operations should be directed to:

Gilmer County Adult Detention Center ‑ 706.635.4625

How can I get an abandoned vehicle removed from my property?

You will need to contact a local wrecker service for assistance, The Police Department can not remove vehicles from private property.

How can I remove or keep someone from coming back on my property, that doesn’t belong there?

You may request that an officer respond and issue a trespass warning to the person. If the person returns after the warning is issued, you may have the person arrested.

Where do I go to find out about or obtain a concealed weapons permit?

Gilmer County Probate Court ‑ 706.635.4763

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