Tech Leadership Focused on Reducing Criminal Behavior in Home Park
President G.P. "Bud" Peterson and the Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) are working closely with the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and the City of Atlanta to address the recent armed robberies in the Home Park neighborhood just north of campus.
"We are very concerned anytime our students, faculty, or staff are victims of a crime, but these recent robberies near campus are of particular concern," Peterson said. "Georgia Tech is committed to the safety and security of our community, and we are continuously seeking ways to improve the level of protection for our campus commmunity."
In light of the recent events, GTPD has allocated additional resources to assist APD in patrolling the Home Park area, including focused neighborhood patrols, increasing the visibility of GTPD officers, and staging mobile surveillance systems to enhance security and assist in both the prevention and resolution of these crimes.
In a press conference on Thursday, Atlanta Chief of Police Erika Shields said that her department has taken steps to stem the activity. "It is abundantly apparent that this is not adequate, and quite frankly, we should never have reached this point," she said, adding, "the department failed to respond quickly enough" when the area became a hot spot for crime.
"These crimes are a citywide concern that have affected Home Park," added GTPD Chief Rob Connolly. "We see the City of Atlanta's problems in that neighborhood as our problem, too. We stand in support of the Atlanta Police Department to fight crime in Home Park, where many of our students, staff, and faculty live, work, and play."
A message to students from Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students John Stein encouraged students to be vigilant and avoid becoming an easy target. Other operational changes include additional drivers for late-night transportation services, working to reduce the wait times, and elimination of the additional charge for Stingerette shuttle service to off-campus locations in the neighborhoods adjacent to campus.
"A concerted effort toward improving security has led to closer collaborations with neighboring law enforcement agencies, more patrols, and the deployment of technology-based solutions," Peterson said. "Georgia Tech's leadership is fully invested in providing for the security of our campus and its people."
As part of Tech's continuing partnership with the City of Atlanta, Peterson is meeting with both newly elected Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Chief Shields. "We will continue to work with leadership in the mayor's office and at the Atlanta Police Department to address the safety concerns our campus community," he said. "Collectively, I am confident that we can provide robust deterrence against those who view our students as easy targets for crime."