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'You'll see a strong, visible presence of our officers' | Atlanta Police announce safety plans for holiday season

Chief Darin Schierbaum said they are reassigning administrative personnel from several of their buildings to go out and patrol the streets.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Police announced their safety plan for this holiday season. Chief Darin Schierbaum said they are increasing the number of officers on the roads.

Schierbaum added they are reassigning administrative personnel from several of their buildings to go out and patrol the streets. Also, their investigators, who normally are not in uniform, will be wearing APD uniforms through the New Year.

He hopes that with people seeing more officers on the road, the number of cases involving porch pirates and auto thefts, which they said normally spike during this time of the year will remain low. 

"We look around the world and we see how big events have been exploited and targeted and we make adjustments here," Schierbaum said. "So you’ll see a strong, visible presence of our officers on the ground, in the air with our air assets, but there’s also a lot of things you won’t see that’s at play with this police department – that’s not detectable by someone who may be looking for law enforcement."

While they'll have extra patrols out on the road, they are asking residents to be vigilant too.

Schierbaum said one of the most important things you can do to stay safe is to not leave packages inside your car.

Deputy Chief Timothy Peek said car break-ins currently account for 40% of the crime in the City of Atlanta, so it's critical you empty your vehicle of any gifts and firearms.

Peek said 50% of the auto thefts, they are currently seeing, are from people leaving their cars running, while picking up food, gifts or even putting gas in their cars.

"That number we know for absolute certainty if we were to turn the vehicle off, lock it, and take the keys with you, we can decrease that number tremendously because that vehicle is going to be used for another crime and another crime category such as car break-ins, burglaries, and any other types of issues," Peek said.

APD suggests to always stay in well-lit areas, and if you're using a ridesharing app, which they recommend if you've been drinking, make sure you get inside the correct vehicle.

Only call 911 if an emergency is imminent. If you are calling about a break-in or a theft that has already occurred – otherwise known as a 'cold crime'  – call their non-emergency number at 311 or (404) 658-666.

"We ask the public to reserve 911 for true, life-threatening emergencies. Things that have already happened, those calls, we ask that you call (404) 658-6666, and that eliminates from flooding the 911 line," 911 Director Desiree Arnold said. 

APD is also asking Atlanta residents to register their security cameras with the police department through their online portal to help them solve any potential crimes.

They said registering your cameras does not allow the department to access your live video stream; it only enables investigators to know a camera is present at your location and easily request video evidence should an incident occur.

You can connect your security cameras by clicking here.

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