The Latest Developments in Midtown’s Public Safety
1. First off, we would like to thank Martin Kemp for graciously hosting a neighborhood safety meeting in the garden of his home on Charles Allen. This meeting was set up after last weekend’s robbery of a woman in front of her child as she arrived home from the grocery store. This meeting, announced with only two days notice on Nextdoor.com, was well attended by a good number folks from the neighborhood and a battery of city officials including Mayor Reed who appeared unannounced. Quite a few topics related to public safety were discussed, and we have highlighted a few of those below:
- Beefed-up police Activity – APD has increased its presence effective immediately. Many people have noticed a dramatic increase in police presence in the last 24 hours or so. The three enforcement divisions in APD (Field Operations Division, Criminal Investigations Division, and Community Services Division) have put into action a comprehensive plan to address the latest trends in violent incidents and chronic criminal activity. They kicked off this enforcement blitz Wednesday night into Thursday, and in the first eight hours APD has racked in 33 arrests in and around Midtown. People are already writing about seeing motorcycle cops everywhere, police riding bicycles in alleys, and stepped up traffic enforcement. This is going on not only in Midtown but also in the Boulevard corridor to the south of us.
- Keep those porch lights on – APD has requested that everybody keep their front porch lights on all night long for the next 30 days. We would like to take this a step further, and urge people to make this a regular habit from here on out.
- Reward for information – At this week’s meeting Mayor Reed announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those perpetrating last weekend’s robbery of a woman in front of her child. A redacted police report narrative of this incident is below.
- Piedmont & 3rd/4th drug activity & prostitution – One of the attendees asked Mayor Reed about the long-standing prostitution and drug activity in the 3rd/4th/Juniper/Myrtle area. While the Mayor said that he was not aware of this specific hotspot, he would look into this situation and solve this problem.
- Report suspicious persons – APD Major Whitmire urged people to call 911 about suspicious people. In the course of one week Zone 5 (covers Midtown and Downtown areas) handled 108 suspicious person calls, and more than 20 of those resulted in arrests. But even if no arrest occurs it still very effectively imparts the message that people in this neighborhood will be quick to report any activity out of line.
- Targeting recidivist offenders – Coucilwoman Mary Norwood announced that a task force of sorts is being put into place to address the recidivist offender problem. APD has a list of 461 chronic and often violent offenders who continue to roam the streets of Atlanta as we speak. According to Mayor Reed, Atlanta Police work diligently to get these criminals off the streets but judges in Fulton County turn too many recidivist offenders back into the community with very light probation sentences. This task force will work toward enhancing sentences for these offenders, and are mobilizing the community through court watch efforts.
2. There will also be another meeting with Mayor Reed, Chief Turner, and other city officials next Tuesday evening, and we want to encourage everybody to attend this meeting as well. We find it very important to keep the momentum going on the neighborhood and city’s response to recent crime trends.
- Tuesday October 13th, 6pm, at Grace United Methodist Church (Ponce & Chas Allen).
3. Media coverage – Here are a couple media reports about Wednesday night’s meeting:
- CBS 46: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed apologizes, promises crackdown on Midtown crime
- Atlanta Intown: Mayor pledges to curb spike in Midtown crime, calls town hall meeting
4. We leave you with the official police report narrative (with redactions) of last weekend’s broad daylight robbery of the mother with her child:
#152761598 | 700s Charles Allen Drive | 10/03/2015 | Robbery (attempted carjacking) – On October 3 2015 at 3:10pm police were dispatched to 720 Charles Allen Drive [roughly Chas Allen & 4th] on a robbery call. When they arrived at the location they spoke to Ms. VICTIM and she advised that she was returning home from shopping with her daughter and noticed 3 black males walking east on 4th street. She at first started wondering who they were but continue to her home. Mrs. VICTIM backed her vehicle into her driveway and got out to get the groceries out of her trunk. As she was getting ready to open her trunk a black male with a small afro, wearing a black pullover hoodie with a teal colored sweat pants came around with a small old black revolver pointing it at her advised her to get on the ground. When she got on the ground, her husband came outside and saw what was going on. and started making noise and screaming at the suspect, who then ﬂed the scene. The victim’s purse was located in front of a neighbor’s door in the direction suspects ﬂed the scene. The second black male wore a gray hoodie and the third black male had on khaki pants. [Investigators came to the scene, got a statement from the victim] After the suspects fled the scene they went over to 727 Juniper Street NE [Lutheran Tower] and allegedly carjacked someone else.