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Grant Park Security Patrol Report

By Chris Newman
Vehicle larcenies and auto thefts continue to be a problem. They are happening at all times of the day and night. Do not assume it’s okay to leave valuables in your car even briefly in the middle of the day. One occurrence was on Cherokee Avenue near the zoo in the early evening. There are occasional thefts near the restaurants at Memorial Drive and in the parking areas out in front of the Oakland Cemetery gates. Do not leave a vehicle running, and do not leave a spare key in the vehicle.
With our current level of support we are able to continue with the weekend patrols Friday to Sunday. Sgt. Bailey, Officer Davis, and Officer Sluss will be here from about 6:00pm until 10 or 11:00pm, and occasionally from 10:00pm until 2:00am. Our officers log in to the Zone 6 dispatch and respond to all 911 calls in our neighborhood. It is important that you call 911 if you see suspicious activities. We have had kids walking around at night pulling car door handles looking for valuables.
On 911 calls, we’ve had some questions regarding response time from Zone 6 related to calls for service. There has been some frustration related to perceived slow response time or no response at all. If you are a witness to a crime in progress, give an accurate description of suspects, vehicle and direction of travel. If you want to speak with the officer, let the dispatcher know that; if you do not want an officer to return to your address with a suspect, the dispatcher should know that too. Ask that the officer meet you away from your location if you are concerned that a suspect knows your residence or if you are concerned about other retaliation.
When a 911 call is first dispatched, the responding officer will search the area based on a direction of travel. If no suspects are located, the officer will return to service and answer the next 911 call. If you’ve asked to speak with the officer, it might be 30 minutes or more until he or she returns to your location.
We plan to schedule a tour of the 911 center in the spring for any resident who wants to learn more about the Atlanta Police Department (APD) emergency response system.
Thanks to all our members for your continuing support of the Grant Park Security Patrol (GPSP). The quarterly payment is $40 per household, making the annual payment $160. It’s easy to pay online, but if you’d prefer to receive a hard copy of the invoice with an envelope to pay by mail, just email the GPSP. If you are already a member, please encourage a friend or neighbor to join.
We are reminding to all members to notify the GPSP if you are changing email addresses. If GPSP does not have your correct address, you will miss crime alerts, invoices, and more. Members who join online can verify their payments at the Security Patrol section of www.gpna.org and also edit email addresses there. Otherwise, send your new email address to grantparksecurity@mindspring.com.
We are in the process of going to an email notification system. If you are still receiving a paper copy of the newsletter and invoice, we ask that you consider the switch. It has greatly streamlined our volunteer hours.
We’ve designed a new logo that incorporates the Grant Park sunburst into the security patrol signs, and the new signs will be coming out in 2013.
In case you are not familiar with GPSP, it is a nonprofit corporation run by volunteers. GPSP uses that money to hire off-duty police officers to patrol the streets of Grant Park. During each patrol, the GPSP officer will usually pass each member’s house at least three times. If a member lets GPSP know that they will be out of town, additional attention is paid to their house while they are away. GPSP began over twenty years ago, and since then burglaries in the neighborhood have dropped by 70%. Some of that dramatic decrease can be attributed to the work of the GPSP officers. The more members GPSP has, the more patrol hours can be afforded, so please join!  There is now a convenient online payment program. Just go to www.gpna.org and click on Security Patrol at the top. Please let GPSP know how easy or hard or how useful you find the online system, as it is regularly being tweaked.
Our thanks to Botwinick and Botwinick, Apco Graphics, Paul Harrison of Edward Jones Investing, Oldfield HOA, and Adams Realtors for sponsoring additional patrol hours.

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