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Visitors Urged to Prepare for Large Memorial Day Weekend Crowds

May 25,2012

The Atlanta Police Department would like to urge residents and visitors to the city center this Memorial Day weekend to be mindful of two major cultural events and several major sporting events, and to stay safe and prepare accordingly for expected traffic and crowds.

Thousands of visitors are expected to converge in Downtown and Midtown Atlanta from Thursday through Monday. The city will play host to the Atlanta Jazz Festival and the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival. Large crowds can be expected at Piedmont Park and the Auburn Avenue corridor. Streets in the Auburn Avenue corridor will close Friday night from 6:00 p.m. and will reopen at midnight on Saturday. In addition, the parade for the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival will begin at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday; expect streets south of West Peachtree Street between Ralph McGill and Auburn Avenue to be blocked.

The Atlanta Police Department will have plenty of on and off-duty personnel available to assist with traffic and security issues.

“We encourage folks to come in and enjoy all our great city has to offer,” said Police Chief George Turner. “These events help define Atlanta as a destination city, but we also know they bring unique traffic and safety challenges.”

Chief Turner urges visitors to utilize MARTA or carpool when possible to minimize impact on traffic, to always be mindful of their surroundings, walk in groups and avoid isolated areas whenever possible. Event attendees are also reminded to park in well-lighted, established parking lots if they must drive.

Maj. Wayne Whitmire, Commander of APD’s Zone 5, which includes Downtown and Midtown, reminds visitors of the department’s “Clean Car Campaign” to reduce theft from motor vehicles. “The best advice I can give is for folks to not leave anything of value in their cars,” said Maj. Whitmire. “It’s actually a crime where people have a great deal of power to avoid becoming a victim. Leave items of value at home, or take them with you if absolutely necessary. Do not leave them in your car.”

Chief Turner also reminds visitors of the city’s “See Something, Say Something” campaign: Report any suspicious persons or activity by calling 911, or alerting an officer.