VaHi Safety Team Report: March 19, 2013

By: John Wolfinger

APD’s 2012 Crime Report
The Atlanta Police Foundation now has a link on their site to this report.  Go to http://www.atlantapolicefoundation.org/  and click on “2012 Crime Report” on the right hand side of the page.
Citizens Police Acadamies
You now have two of these informative sessions to choose from this spring.  APD’s academy starts 4/17 and continues every Wednesday evening for 7 weeks from 6 to 9 p.m.  Send an e-mail to Sergeant Chad Hannula for an application at channula@atlantaga.gov  Spend an evening inside the new 911 call center and video integration operation as well as ride-alongs with on duty beat officers.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s department has announced that their academy will begin 4/24 and continues every Wednesday evening for 6 weeks from 6 to 8 p.m.. Send an e-mail to Natasha Mootoo for an application at natasha.mootoo@fultoncountyga.gov   I was in their first session last year and a couple of the highlights were an evening spent inside the Fulton County Jail and an evening inside the Fulton County Courthouse learning about how the building is secured and seeing how prisoners are brought from the jail and held in cells beside each courtroom.
Monroe Drive Traffic Problems
Our new NPU “F” traffic/transportation chair, Laura Stephens, is really grabbing the bull by the horns concerning the many pedestrian and vehicular problems of this very busy street in our midst.  She is asking for pix and stories about what you have witnessed or been involved in along this thoroughfare.  Make sure you include specific times and dates in your e-mails to her at laura.stephens@cushwake.com, and also copy the Midtown folks at  traffic@midtownatlanta.org.  There was to have been improvement funding in the failed t-splost vote, and now the next ray of hope for safety changes lays with a proposed city infrastructure bond issue next year. Documenting all of the problems will help to push Monroe Drive safety enhancements to the forefront when funding is available.
BeltLine Security
Thanx to VaHi resident Chris Juckins for attending the recent Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. meeting on 3/7 at Atlanta Tech and passing on his notes about security.  For the time being we have APD’s mounted patrol working the trail until such time as a designated COPS unit will protect trail users.  APD has hired 15 military vets with a federal grant and will supplement them with 5 more officers from within the APD organization.  The new hirees are now in training but will not be ready to hit the trails til later this year.  Additional lighting is being added, 10 more bicycles are being ordered, and street numbers are being assigned to the mile markers on the trail for ease in identifying where you are if you need to call 911.
The BeltLine is a fantastic addition to Atlanta’s list of assets – but do not consider that you have left the city and gone to the country when using the path.  Use common sense by keeping usage to daylite hours, keep personal electronics hidden in your clothing, go with someone else, and do not get lost in your thoughts as you walk, jog or bike ride.  Stay aware and alert while getting some good exercise.
The following reports are from our APD Zone 6 (http://atlantapd.org/Zone6.aspx) crime stats for the 2013 weeks of 8 and 9 (2/17 to 3/2) for our VaHi Beat 601, along with news from around the Zone as it affects us.  Again, these reports are not meant to scare anyone, but to make you aware of what happens around us everyday and to raise your alertness.
Aggravated Assault  –  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Auto Theft  –  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Commercial Burglary  –  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Residential Burglary  –  Two residences were entered on Glen Arden Way, one via a broken out side window and the other via a kicked-in back door.  The residents of this last incident were out of town at the time – but thanx to caring neighbors the open back door was secured.  An open tool shed on Hudson Drive was entered and a lawn mower taken.  A St. Charles Avenue residence was entered and netted the thief a hand gun.  On Virginia Avenue a home was entered via an unlocked door.
Commercial Robbery  –  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Pedestrian Robbery  –  No reported incidents from Beat 601. However nearby on the BeltLine near the Ponce City Market on the evening watch (3 to 11 p.m.) the 2 victims were approached by 2 males asking if they wanted to buy drugs – the victims declined, but the 2 suspects came back with one of them brandishing a hand gun and robbed them of $500 cash, 6 debit/credit cards and 2 cell phones.  The suspects fled northward on foot.  I can’t help from making a comment about being on the BeltLine with that much cash.
Residential Robbery  –  No reported incidents from Beat 601.
Larceny From Vehicle  –  Vehicles were entered on Briarcliff Terrace, Highland Terrace, Amsterdam Avenue and two on North Highland Avenue.  All of these incidents were from week # 8 – week # 9 was free of such intrusions. Remember the Clean Car Campaign and keep ALL parked cars cleaned out at ALL times.
Larceny Other  –  A delivered package on an Adair Avenue front porch was opened and the contents taken.  Remember, we have a very easy way to thwart these front porch thefts, by having packages delivered to one of our safe delivery addresses.  Stop by Intown Hardware, CityStorage or Urban Body on PDL Place and sign up for this free program to use their address.  These folks will even call you when you have a package to pick up.
At the Bed, Bath and Beyond store at the Edgewood Retail District, an unwatched purse was taken from a shopping cart (surprised?).  The Target store at this same location caught 4 non-paying visitors.
Stay alert and enjoy spring in Atlanta.

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