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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.

Péralte Paul June 13, 2012 at 11:21 PM
How safe do you feel walking the streets?
rad harris June 14, 2012 at 03:47 PM
When I lived VERY close to the village I would feel pretty safe walking the streets. Now, I live in Gresham Park and I don't feel unsafe, but I would never walk alone, or without a dude. Crime has been an issue in our neighborhood the past year and it seems it is not getting better. Our neighborhood association meetings are jam-packed with concerned residents, but the crime hasn't let up. As you may know, we are 2 miles south of the village and apparently Atlanta Police Zone 6 stops right above our neighborhood. I think our neighborhood gets shafted in the police coverage and we need a much bigger patrol presence to deter these criminals. I'm not sure what zone/presinct/department covers our area, but it is Dekalb County. If we're not in a zone, how can we really be cared for? I would love to see a greater concentration of patrolling in our neighborhood, and not just a presence AFTER the crime is committed.
Péralte Paul June 14, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Hi, Rad: You're definitely under DeKalb County Police jurisdiction. From what I've seen in my years of living in EAV, I'm glad I live in an APD zone and not a DCPD area. I rarely see DeKalb police on the side streets of Gresham Park. I always see them on Bouldercrest or further south on Moreland usually stopping someone for a moving violation. When I first moved to EAV I saw a couple of them at Grant Central Pizza and I told them I thought there was someone needing help on the street and they said call APD. Have you reached out to the DCPD brass or your county commissioner about the feeling that GP is getting shortchanged on police coverage?
Green Hornet June 21, 2012 at 07:10 AM
“ . . . the organization is working with police to develop plans to make it less a deterrent for crooks looking to make a getaway.” LESS a deterrent? Don’t you mean MORE of a deterrent?
Péralte Paul June 21, 2012 at 07:20 AM
Yup. Thanks for catching.

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