Atlanta Police kick off Summer Safety Program amid potential spike in crime

Published: May. 31, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Atlanta Police are kicking off a new plan to keep kids off the streets this summer. Crime tends to spike in the summer months, so Atlanta Police announced their Summer Safety Plan” for 2022.

Newly-announced Interim Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said officers will initiate their police athletic league once again this summer, but they want to enroll more children. The program connects officers with area youth through basketball, baseball, and soccer.

“This year we will see those programs expanded throughout the summer. We ask that if you see anyone you would like to see enrolled in those programs, please reach out to us. We still have space available,” said Interim Chief Schierbaum.

The department is also adding more staff to the city’s youth centers.

“We have hired 15 mentors that will be present in our youth center that will be doing two-fold,” said Schierbaum. “Being able to connect those individuals to our city and ensuring that youth that comes to us in the summer have a connection back.”

Atlanta Police will be policing adults as well. Officers will step up patrols in popular gathering spots. People attending a birthday party or family picnic in the park can expect a stronger police presence. Many of those officers will be on bikes and/or horseback.

“Making sure we are very visible; officers are seen in the right place across the zones,” said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. “And that we continue our recruitment effort to get them back up. That’s why we are trying to get 250 officers hired this year.”

Police also want access to more cameras. They’re calling on businesses and homeowners to link their cameras with the city. You can sign up for ‘Connect Atlanta’ by visiting this link - Officials call it the neighborhood watch of the 21st century.

“That allows everyone one of our officers and investigators to have real-time, quick access to license plate readers and cameras to quickly apprehend individuals or find the most vulnerable citizens who need us at that time,” said Schierbaum.

The interim police chief and mayor also promised to crack down on aggressive drivers. The city is partnering with federal and state law enforcement for what they call the “100 Days of Summer.” Their goal is to keep motorists calm, sober, and safe.