By Alex Sohani
The Atlanta Police Department and Tech announced a unique partnership on Monday, July 9, in the form of a police vehicle that will patrol around campus and surrounding neighborhoods. The partnership comes as a result of the rise in crime to Tech students in local neighborhoods around campus. Through Summer 2012, there have been several armed robberies in the area surrounding Tech and one armed robbery in the North Avenue Apartments complex.
“Due to the recent robberies we have increased the Georgia Tech Police Department’s visibility in the Home Park area and surrounding areas. We are doing a buffer patrol, providing a higher visibility on the edges of campus to try to discourage people from coming onto our campus,” said GTPD Captain Regina Rogers.
The new Dodge Charger Enforcer II will be added to GTPD’s fleet and will patrol Home Park, Atlantic Station and Midtown along with Tech’s campus Tuesdays through Saturdays. The car features both the GTPD and APD symbol on the side and will have one officer from each branch in the vehicle at all times.
The cruiser, costing $37,000, was purchased after donations by the Midtown Alliance, North American Properties, the Home Park Community Improvement Association and the Atlanta Police Foundation. The car is a top of the line patrol vehicle with the latest equipment that will be used entirely for crime-fighting.
This joint patrol is only one of many initiatives that GTPD has made along with other departments through the last few years. GTPD has been meeting with other local campus police departments to compare crime prevention tactics, along with plans for a campus crime prevention task force in the Metro-Atlanta area being rolled out through the mayor’s office.
“The impact of this car gives the public an opportunity to see that GTPD and APD are not two totally separate entities working alone, but do closely work together through partnerships,” Captain Rogers said. “This new car along with the new GTPD cruisers that we have rolled out provides a greater visibility to the community that we are proactive and to feel our presence in the area.”
On Monday, July 16, the GTPD and APD released video and photos of the two suspects in the armed robbery case in the North Avenue Apartments in another joint effort. The investigation showed that the suspects were filmed at the local BP gas station on North Avenue prior to coming onto Tech’s campus to commit the robbery.
The burglars entered an open apartment on the seventh floor of North Avenue Apartments East and held a gun to a sleeping resident while taking valuable electronics and a wallet earlier this month. The robbery resulted in no injuries.
GTPD will continue to join with local entities in order to provide more services to the Tech community, while responding to any calls made pertaining to any issue arising on campus.
By Alex Sohani