APD Introduces Clean Car Challenge at CAP Town Hall Meeting
Deputy Chief Joe Spillane, Field Operations Division, and Major Wayne Whitmire, Zone 5 Commander, addressed the Town Hall Meeting today about safety in Downtown, reinforcing the fact that Downtown is one of the safest places in Atlanta. During this reporting period for 2013, there was a slight increase in Larcenies From Autos, which is our main crime problem in Downtown. In comparing numbers, 2012 was an abnormally low incident year, bringing attention to any increases. Incidents are still significantly lower than previous years for the most part.
There are a number of police tactics and strategies in place to address Larceny from Autos this year: special details targeting Larcenies from Auto; increased walking beat officers and visibility; apply predictive policing; Video Integration Center surveillance camera system; as well as collaborations and partnerships with other public safety agencies and Downtown security and property management partners.
One program we are focusing on this year is to introduce a New Clean Car Campaign Challenge to reduce Larcenies from Autos by 100. The original program was introduced in 2009, and was extremely effective in educating the Downtown daily constituency, deterring and dramatically reducing the number of Larcenies From Autos. Our new challenge will continue to reach out to our Downtown constituency, but will also reach out to our 13 million annual convention, special event and tourist visitors to inform them about good practices for safety, and not leaving any items in the car. There was also an increase in Robberies and Aggravated Assaults in this six-month period.
The robberies are often resulting from a shoplifting, where the offender resisted or fled when apprehended. This is peculiar to Georgia law. Often these cases can also be related to a drug buy gone bad, where someone put themselves into the circumstances conducive to this offense occurring.
The Aggravated Assaults are normally not stranger-on-stranger in Downtown, with almost all knowing each other. We will continue to focus on quality of life nuisance issues. It is important to put these number of offenses into perspective with the high density pedestrian population and extremely high vehicle traffic daily, as well as at special events occurring in Downtown, with very few incidents.