APD Foot Patrols In Neighborhoods Work As Crime Deterrents
But Zone 6's commander says they will be used infrequently.
Following a number of street robberies in East Atlanta Village, Little Five Points and Virginia-Highland, Maj. Keith Meadows, commander of the Atlanta Police Department's Zone 6, instituted a few strategically placed foot patrols in those neighborhoods.
Speaking at the East Atlanta Community Association's June 12 meeting, Meadows said the patrols have had the desired effect in stemming some of the street crimes like purse snatchings and smartphone thefts that have seen an uptick in incidents.
"We were having robberies where we weren't having them consistently," prompting the foot patrols, he told EACA members.
But despite having the desired effect, he cautioned residents shouldn't expect to see them all the time.
Much like bike patrols, foot patrols will be used sporadically in the neighborhoods that comprise Zone 6.
Zone 6's coverage area ranges from Virginia-Highland to Custer/McDonough/Guice and Capitol Homes to East Lake.
"You'll see them from time to time, they just won't be consistent," Meadows said.
Some of the crimes have occurred near the planned BeltLine Trail, which has prompted residents of some neighborhoods to question how safe the trail will be if people can simply snatch a laptop or rob someone at gunpoint and then use it as conduit for escape.
At last month's meeting of the South Atlantans for Neighborhood Development group, he acknowledged those concerns.
The stretch of trail that's particularly problematic is the portion of the BeltLine that spans from Studioplex to Freedom Parkway.
"We're asking our officers to be mindful that the BeltLine is being used as an escape route, right now," he said at the time.
When complete, the BeltLine will create a necklace of greenspace around the city.
A BeltLine spokesman told East Atlanta Patch the organization is working with police to develop plans to make it more of a deterrent for crooks looking to make a getaway.
One thing under discussion is the possibility of cameras on the trail.
Some of the improvements being made as the trail becomes developed and built out makes it safer, spokesman Ethan Davidson said, because it's less of a haven for the homeless and others who might be contributing to quality of life problems.
"Historically, that corridor was once a hidden place," Davidson said. "Over the course of the development, that area has been opened up to daylight."
In addition to regular police patrols, several neighborhoods in Zone 6 have neighborhood watch and off-duty security patrols including several that touch the BeltLine Trail such as Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward.