Atlanta Police chief George Turner is addressing the growing concern about crime in the Atlanta Beltline area — which includes a recent incident where a jogger was robbed at gunpoint of her iPhone — by putting more officers in the area, effective immediately, among other measures.
The memo from Turner was posted on Midtown Ponce Security Alliance’s Facebook Page on Monday, and reads:
The Atlanta BeltLine is a valuable resource for the city of Atlanta and we want to make sure that everyone is able to enjoy it without fear for their safety.
As you may be aware, we had an armed robbery on the Atlanta BeltLine Tuesday afternoon. These crimes are unacceptable, and we will not tolerate people being preyed upon in this manner – on the Atlanta BeltLine, or anywhere else for that matter.
In light of this most recent robbery, we are going to put more officers on the Atlanta BeltLine immediately – on bicycles, on foot, and on horseback.
We have also been working closely with the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. to improve public safety along the paths.
Among the enhancements:
– Lighting fixtures have either been added, or repaired, at 20 poles along the Eastside Trail. More lighting will be added under the bridges at Virginia Ave., Freedom Parkway and N. Highland Ave.
– Trees Atlanta has assisted in pruning trees and clearing invasive growth to improve lines of site and increase ambient lighting along the trail.
– The Atlanta BeltLine purchased cameras and APD and the trail.
– Atlanta Police Foundation will soon install them along the trail and connect them to the Atlanta Police Departments’ Video Integration Center.
– Mile markers have been installed to help users of the trail more easily identify their location.
– Further, we will soon have a new APD Path Force unit with 20 officers tasked with law enforcement within the Atlanta BeltLine footprint and adjacent parks. We are in the process of standing up that unit and hope to have it online in June. The commander of this unit has been studying best practices in other cities with similar park units and is in the process of developing a comprehensive safety plan.
Finally, we always want to encourage users of the Atlanta BeltLine to report suspicious activity to 9-1-1 as part of our “See Something/Say Something” campaign. We will send officers to check on reports of suspicious people.
Chief George N. Turner, Atlanta Police Department