Following a spate of armed robberies in Inman Park and several snatch and grabs in Candler Park and Old Fourth Ward, the Atlanta Police Department is stepping up patrols in those neighborhoods and several other select communities in the city.
The 60-day crime suppression detail, which began Aug. 2, is being funded through a $500,000 federal Justice Assistance Grant.
A portion of the $500,000 received through the grant will go towards officer overtime. That will allow APD to increase its resources and personnel in the evenings and overnights, from Aug. 2 through Oct. 1 in those areas that APD Chief George N. Turner called “hot spots” for crime.
The target areas, chosen based on statistical analysis of recent crime trends, include:
- Atlanta University Center Corridor (Emphasis on Beckwith Street and Greensferry Avenue)
- Peachtree Street Corridor (from Midtown through Buckhead)
- The Mall West End Corridor (Including Oak and Lee streets and Oglethorpe Avenue)
- Old Fourth Ward/Virginia-Highland/Inman Park and Candler Park (Including Auburn, Highland and Euclid avenues and Boulevard)
“This is a high-visibility patrol,” Turner told Fox 5 Atlanta.
Though overall crime is down in the city and statistically, Atlanta is a "safe" city in comparison to other major U.S. cities, residents have been on high alert after several snatch and runs and armed robberies were reported in Inman Park, Candler Park and the Old Fourth Ward in the last several months.
The most serious ones included seven patrons of the North Highland Pub being robbed at gunpoint June 25. On July 22, a gunman robbed a woman, firing warning shots above her head as well as her friend when they resisted.
Turner said the extra patrols will include a stronger presence in parking lots where smash and grabs are common and more community involvement with local businesses.
After the 60 days, police will study the results of those targeted patrol efforts and determine next steps to take, officials said.