Stalking Unit

"Stalking the Stalkers"The Clayton County Sheriff's Office's Stalking Unit was formed under the direction of Sheriff Victor Hill in January, 2005. The Stalking Unit's mission is to protect the victims and survivors of domestic violence while holding the batterers accountable for their actions by providing competent and professional law enforcement services. The stalking component is a proactive approach designed to thwart domestic violence related homicides. This is achieved by making our presence known to the stalking perpetrator through surveillance and other law enforcement techniques.

The Stalking Unit is comprised of Deputy Sheriff's, and can be identified by their "Panther" emblems on their uniform's shoulder patch and the unit's radio call sign. The panther image was used to symbolize the way a panther stalks its prey.

Members of the unit are POST certified Instructors, members of the Clayton County Domestic Violence Task Force, Clayton County Domestic Violence Fatality Review, State of Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Review Advisory Board, and Instructors to the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center's Domestic Violence Instructor Training Program. We are diligent in our efforts to stop domestic violence through law enforcement services, training, education of the citizens of Clayton County, and the State of Georgia.

The primary function of this unit is the service of Temporary Protective Orders (TPO's) and the enforcement of its provisions. However, the Stalking Unit also performs other tasks such as judgment standbys, follow-up investigations, domestic violence warrant services, and "Stalking the Stalkers."

Judgment StandbyA judgment standby is a court ordered separation which is supervised, by appointment, by a Deputy Sheriff to keep the peace, prevent any contact, or violation of the existing TPO.

Follow-up InvestigationFollow-up Investigations are conducted by telephone and/or home visits to ensure no violation have occurred since the service of the TPO. Follow-up investigations are initiated when a victim reports a complaint of TPO violations, stalking or by other mitigating factors.

Domestic Violence Warrant ServiceDomestic violence warrant service is the diligent search and apprehension of those charged with domestic violence related crimes.

"Stalking the Stalkers""Stalking the Stalkers" is the most important element of this unit and the reason for the Panther emblem, because panthers STALK their prey. Our PREY is those who use power and control tactics on their intimate partners. The objective is to follow and observe the Respondent (defendant) in a TPO case who has displayed certain lethality indicators such as repetitive history of domestic violence or has violated a TPO by placing the Petitioner under surveillance.

The Domestic Violence Stalking Unit strictly enforces and investigates all complaints of TPO violations because it is a CRIME and deserves the same attention as any other violation of the law.

Important Information on Temporary Protective OrdersYou have obtained a TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDER (TPO) UNDER THE FAMILY VIOLENCE ACT or STALKING ACT. The Sheriff’s Office has the responsibility of executing the order by serving a copy of the order upon the respondent (person who is alleged to have committed the act of family violence or stalking). The efforts to locate the respondent will begin during the shift in which the order was received. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to attempt to serve the order until successful, or until the order expires. If you have additional information that will help in locating the respondent (defendant), please call the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office at 770-473-5828.

**** DO NOT INFORM THE DEFENDANT ABOUT THE ORDER PRIOR TO BEING SERVED BY A DEPUTY. THIS COULD PLACE YOU AND OUR DEPUTIES IN DANGER. ****

The Deputies have the responsibility of serving the respondent (defendant) with the order and will read the order and go over the details of the order with the respondent at the time of service. If you fail to come to court after the TPO has been served, then the case will be dismissed.

No ServiceEvery attempt is made to serve the TPO before the court date. Sometimes we cannot serve the order by the court date. You, as plaintiff, must still come to court to request a new court date. If you do not come to court, even though the TPO has not been served, then the TPO will be dismissed.

EvictionIF DIRECTED BY THE ORDER, a Deputy Sheriff will evict the respondent from the residence listed in the order. Under the supervision of a Deputy Sheriff, the respondent (defendant) will be allowed to gather enough personal effects (clothing, toilet articles, medications, tools of his or her trade) to sustain him or herself until the hearing date which is set in the order. The date is normally within 14 days.

If you left the house prior to service it is important for you to verify with the Sheriff’s Office that the eviction has taken place BEFORE returning to the residence. This is for your safety. You may verify this information by calling the Sheriff’s Office at 770-473-5828. When the respondent (defendant) is served at a location other than the residence listed in the order that he or she is to be evicted, then arrangements must be made for a mutually convenient time for the respondent (defendant) accompanied by a Deputy Sheriff to retrieve their personal belongings.

Child CustodyIF DIRECTED BY THE ORDER, the Deputy Sheriff will take custody of children as prescribed in the order.

FilingOnce the order is served upon the respondent (defendant), a copy of that order will remain on file with the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office. The existence of your order can be verified by telephone during the time period that your order is in effect. A Temporary Protective Order (TPO) under the Family Violence Act or Stalking Act is valid only until the first hearing which is usually 14 days or less from the issuance of the TPO. A judgment under the Family Violence Act or Stalking is valid for twelve months unless extended by the court.

Violations of the OrderIf the respondent (defendant) has been evicted from the residence, and later returns before the expiration of the Temporary Protective Order (TPO) under the Family Violence Act or Judgment under the Family Violence Act, you should immediately call 9-1-1. Tell the Operator that you have either a TPO or Judgment under the Family Violence Act. If the defendant leaves before the police arrive contact the Sheriff’s Office Domestic Violence Stalking Unit for further investigation of your case at 770-477-4594.