City, MARTA Officials Announce Summer Safety Initiative|Special to the Daily World

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    Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Police Chief George Turner, Parks Commissioner

    George Dusenbury and MARTA CEO and General Manager Dr. Beverly A. Scott on

    May 31announced the launch of the City of Atlanta’s Summer Safety Initiative. During

    the press conference, Mayor Reed outlined the myriad structured activities available to

    young people at the city’s parks, pools and recreation centers, and urged parents and

    guardians to make sure their children follow the city’s curfew ordinance.

    “I want everyone in the City of Atlanta, especially our young people, to enjoy the

    summer months,” said Mayor Reed. “At the same time, it is vital that we keep everyone

    safe. Our parks, pools and recreation centers are safe havens for kids where drugs and

    gang activity will not be tolerated.

    Reed added: “I would also like to encourage our residents to actively participate

    in the ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign. If you witness any illegal activity

    or if you see something that looks out of place, report it to the police department

    immediately.”

    In coordination with the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Parks, Recreation and

    Cultural Affairs, the Atlanta Police Department is increasing police presence and visibility

    at city parks and pools, and strict enforcement of the city’s curfew laws.

    “It’s imperative that city facilities be considered a safe destination for children at all

    times, but especially during the summer months when they’re out of school,” Atlanta

    Police Chief George Turner said. “We also know that children who spend their time

    constructively in organized activities with adult supervision will be less likely to have

    negative encounters with our officers later in life.”

    Atlanta’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (DPRCA) has a host

    of activities and events to keep everyone, especially young people engaged in activities

    throughout the summer months. Further details of these activities are attached.

    “We welcome the opportunity to work with APD and MARTA on these summer safety

    initiatives in our pools, recreation centers and parks,” said DPRCA Commissioner

    George Dusenbury. “Providing residents a safe, secure and fun experience during the

    summer months gives Atlanta residents dozens of engaging and convenient choices for

    staying close to home for vacation.”

    The APD’s crime prevention initiatives this summer include:

    - Patrols of all city parks by uniformed officers 24 hours a day;

    - Visits by officers with parks and recreation managers at city park facilities;

    - Checks of city pools by uniformed officers on patrol;

    - Property crime details targeting problem areas;

    - Distribution of “See Something, Say Something” literature encouraging city and county

    employees to report suspicious activity;

    - Referrals of youth to mentoring programs such as the Police Athletic League, Centers

    of Hope, Boys & Girls Club, etc.;

    - Curfew patrols at parks, movie theaters, skating rinks, apartment complexes and other

    places where youth gather; and

    - Curfew patrols in partnership with MARTA Police.

    As part of the curfew, children 16 or younger should not be out of their homes

    without supervision by a parent, legal guardian or authorized adult from 11 p.m. to 6

    a.m. Sunday-Thursday and from midnight to 6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The first

    violation results in a warning. A second violation of the curfew ordinance may subject parents to a $1,000 fine and 60 days in jail or community service.

    In the coming months, MARTA plans to launch several key safety and security

    initiatives such as expanded bus and train patrols, additional K-9 units and an

    informational campaign to help customers safeguard their personal property.

    “We are very pleased and proud to be joining our partners at the City of Atlanta on

    this extremely important initiative,” said Dr. Beverly Scott, MARTA’s General Manager

    and CEO. “We are all part of this community and, while we must emphasize the

    importance of safety and our expectation of good behavior on the part of our young

    people, we must also recognize the need to create good, nurturing environments for

    them as well.”

    MARTA Police will work closely with APD and other city agencies to effectively

    leverage their resources in order to make the transit system, and the city it serves, as

    safe as possible.

    “The MARTA Police Department is proud to partner with the Atlanta Police

    Department on its Summer Safety Initiative,” said MARTA Police Chief Wanda Y.

    Dunham. “In the coming months, MARTA plans to launch several security initiatives that

    will increase police presence and awareness throughout the transit system. We are fully

    committed to ensuring that young people and customers of all ages can always ride our

    system safely.”

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