Quality of Life / M-STAR
Marietta strategically targeting areas with resources is aimed at fighting crime where it is most effective - before it starts. M-STAR is unique because it incorporates two proven policing strategies: criminal statistical analysis and neighborhood policing. This two-pronged approach unites the resources of identifying the root causes of certain crimes with a neighborhood teamwork strategy to eradicate those roots. This "best of both worlds" course has established Marietta as a pilot program for others to study and emulate.
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How does it work?
The city is divided into four zones headed by non-rotating majors and assigned police staff who bring commitment and continuity to their zones. Together with the residents and businesses, the police department identifies problem areas and trends in these areas and works together to resolve them. It is customary to see crime rate statistics rise during this early period as more crimes are reported and examined. From that important point, work begins on removing the crimes. Because crime affects all of us, it is the business not only of the police department, but all city of Marietta departments to come together to make this program work. The combined commitment of the entire community guarantees the success of the M-STAR program.
Two components make up the Marietta Police Department's M-STAR program:
Zone management teams
The zone management teams include police personnel and citizens. Members are responsible for identifying problems in their zones, coming up with solutions for problems and constantly following up on them. Each zone management team includes 10 police officers and three to five citizens that live or have a business in that zone. Each team includes: one major (zone management team commander), one lieutenant, two sergeants and six patrol officers. The patrol officers include: one from Detectives, one from the Community Response Unit, one from either the Selected Traffic Enforcement Program or the Crime Intervention Unit, and one from each shift in Uniform Patrol who is permanently assigned to that zone. Zone management teams meet quarterly or more as needed.
M-STAR meetings are held monthly to report efforts being made, identify problems and concerns, and develop and report strategies. The zone management team commander is responsible for their respective zone.
M-STAR Zone 1
Zone 1 is located in the southeast part of the city and encompasses Cobb Parkway South from South Marietta Parkway to the south city limits. It also encompasses Powers Ferry Road outside the Loop and Franklin Road outside the Loop. Barclay Circle is within Zone 1. Portions of the territory on South Marietta Parkway, west of Cobb Parkway are also in Zone 1. Interstate 75 from South Marietta Parkway and to the south city limits is within Zone 1. The majority of Zone 1 is comprised of businesses, but several apartment complexes are also located in Zone 1, specifically on Franklin Road, Windy Hill Road, Powers Ferry Road and Barclay Circle.
Major Cliff Kelker (770-794-5340)
Major Cliff Kelker joined the Marietta Police Department in 1991. He commands the Uniform Services evening watch and serves as the Zone 2 commander. His previous assignments included all three shifts in Uniform Patrol and more than nine years in the Investigative Services Division. Major Kelker developed the Marietta Police Department's first Citizens Police Academy, was one of the founding members of the Crime Interdiction Unit and led an initiative to supply all officers in the department a weapon-mounted light system for primary-duty weapons. Major Kelker has a bachelor's degree in public and social services and a master's degree in public administration from Kennesaw State University. He is a graduate of the 106th Session of the Southern Police Institute, Administrative Officer's Course at the University of Louisville. He has also attended the Carl Vinson Institute of Government's management development program, the International Association of Chiefs of Police-Leadership in Police Organizations course and is a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Leadership course receiving the highest award. He served seven years in the U.S. Army and deployed with the 101st Airborne Division to Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Major Kelker is currently on the Marietta Employee Charity Contribution Account (MECCA) and Police Athletic League boards and a member of Pilgrim Baptist Church. Major Kelker's philosophy for policing is based upon mobilizing members of the community to actively participate in making their community safer.
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M-STAR Zone 2
Zone 2 is located in the northeast part of the city and encompasses everything east of Cobb Parkway and north of South Marietta Parkway. I-75 from the South Marietta Parkway to the north city limits is in zone 2. Nothing west of Cobb Parkway is in Zone 2. Zone 2 is a mix of business, industrial and residential establishments. The residences are represented by single-family dwellings and apartment complexes.
Major Danny Messimer (770-794-5332)
Major Messimer joined the department June 19, 1986. He is the commander of Uniform Patrol's day shift. Since joining the department he has served in Uniform Patrol, STEP (traffic unit), Investigations and Support Services as the training coordinator, accreditation manager and internal affairs. Major Messimer has a master's degree in public administration from Kennesaw State University and a bachelor's degree in history from King College, Tenn. He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute's 98th Administrative Officer's Course in Louisville, Ky. He also completed the Police Executive's Research Forum's Senior Management Institute's for Police in 2007. Major Messimer completed the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government's management development program and serves as an assessor for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and Georgia's state certification program.
Submit an Action Form to Major Messimer >
M-STAR Zone 3
Zone 3 is at the heart of the city and the only Zone that is contiguous with all of the other zones. Zone 3 encompasses all of the territory between Cobb Parkway on the east side and North Marietta Pkwy on the west side. The north end of Zone 3 comes together at the intersection of Cobb Parkway and Church Street Extension. The south end of Zone 3 comes together between Atlanta Road and Cobb Parkway.
The majority of Zone 3 is comprised of long-established single-family residential neighborhoods. Many of the houses located in Zone 3 were built in the 1940s when the Bell Bomber Plant was opened during World War II. Many of these homes are now rental properties.
Zone 3 also includes the central business district area, which is widely known as the Marietta Square. The Square has been a focal point of Marietta commerce since the city was founded in 1834. The area is widely known for its many stores and restaurants. In addition, the Square has become known as a theater and arts center with the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art and several theater companies located around the Square. The Marietta Welcome Center and Visitors Bureau is located just off the square, along with the Marietta Museum of History and Gone With the Wind museum.
There are many small businesses located in Zone 3. Most of these are located in the Roswell and Fairground streets area. Zone 3 also has several schools located inside its boundaries: Park Street Elementary School, Pine Forest Elementary School, Allgood Elementary School and the Woods-Wilkens Alternative School.
Local government buildings are also located in Zone 3 including City Hall, the Marietta Police Department, the Marietta Fire Department, Marietta Municipal Court, Cobb County Police Department, state Court of Cobb County and the Superior Court of Cobb County.
Officers assigned to Zone 3 are faced with a fast-paced work environment. The main problems facing the officers assigned to Zone 3 are street-level drug dealing in certain areas, graffiti, homeless and code enforcement issues. Zone 3 has a diverse population, and the officers assigned to this zone face many unique challenges.
Major Michael Hathaway (770-794-5389)
Major Mike Hathaway joined the Marietta Police Department in 1985 and is the Morning Watch shift commander in the Uniform Patrol Division. Since joining the department, his assignments have included Uniform Patrol (all three shifts), the STEP Unit and the MCS Narcotics Unit. He has also served on the SWAT Team and the Honor Guard. Major Hathaway has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration from Columbia Southern University. He is a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy and the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University. In addition, he serves as the department's representative on the Marietta Pension Board.
Submit an Action Form to Major Hathaway >
M-STAR Zone 4
Zone 4 is located in the northwest part of the city, and encompasses all of the territory west of Church Street, north of Whitlock Avenue and south of Cobb Parkway. Zone 4 primarily includes long-standing single-family residences as well as a regional health-care facility, some businesses, and elementary and middle schools.
Major Steve Kish (770-794-5354)
Major Steve Kish began his career with the Marietta Police Department in February 1993 and is the Major of the Evening Shift, Traffic Unit and Crime Interdiction Unit. He has served in the Uniform Patrol Division, School Resource Officer Unit, Bicycle Patrol Unit, Honor Guard, Support Services Division, Office of Professional Standards and as a supervisor on the Marietta Police SWAT team. Major Kish has received two medals of meritorious service in his career with the Marietta Police Department.
Major Kish graduated from the 244th Session of the FBI National Academy, is a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Leadership Program and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government's management development program. He has a master's degree in public administration from Columbus State University, a bachelor's degree in sociology from Kennesaw State University and an associate’s degree in law enforcement from Chattahoochee Technical College.
Major Kish served in the U.S. Army Reserve for eight years, is a Desert Shield/Desert Storm veteran and received an honorable discharge.
Major Kish is a member of the Georgia Internal Affairs Investigators Association, Georgia Police Accreditation Coalition, Georgia Peace Officers Association and the FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA). In 2012, Major Kish was appointed as the secretary/treasurer of the Cobb County Law Enforcement Association.
Submit an Action Form to Steve Kish >