Smart-phone app allows public to help MARTA police

1:41 AM, Jul 2, 2013   |    comments
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Video: MARTA adds staff for July 4

(File photo)

ATLANTA -- The MARTA Police Department is encouraging riders to download an innovative, new smart-phone app that allows the public to function as an additional set of eyes and ears for the transit system.

The smart-phone app is an extension of the transit system's "See something, say something" program. The app allows riders to call MARTA police directly or take a picture and send a brief message about what seems suspicious or out of place.

"You can take a picture of anything that seems suspicious -- like a package sitting beside you that no one is claiming," says Sgt. Aston Green with MARTA's Emergency Preparedness Unit. "And then you can send that picture directly to our Police Communications Unit."

Atlanta's mass transit system is anticipating one of the year's busiest days Thursday July 4, and is adding staff to enhance security and help riders.

MARTA officials announced Monday they would add 75 civilian staff to help cover train stations during July 4.  The staff are largely administrators.  MARTA has already cancelled off days for its police force, something it does each July 4.

The added staff is designed to help the transit system handle nearly 50,000 expected passengers for July 4 events that include the AJC Peachtree Road Race, fireworks at Lenox and Centennial Olympic Park, and a Braves game at Turner Field.

MARTA officials say they have enhanced the system's operational security July 4 in additional ways they declined to specify.  They've done so as part of a citywide response to security demands deemed necessary in light of the bombings at this year's Boston Marathon.

MARTA officials say July 4 and New Year's Eve are the transit system's busiest day's annually.

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