Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 04/16/13
City of Atlanta’s Public Safety Agencies Prepare for This Week’s Large Events
Citizens asked to report suspicious activity to 9-1-1
ATLANTA - City of Atlanta officials are increasing security for a number of large gatherings and facilities beginning tonight as a precautionary measure in the aftermath of Monday’s attack at the Boston Marathon.
The heads of the Atlanta Police Department, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have all been in close contact with each other and with their partner federal law enforcement agencies. At this time, they have been informed that there is no intelligence to suggest the city of Atlanta is a target.
“Nevertheless, we cannot let our guard down,” said Atlanta Police Chief George Turner. “Atlanta police officers will be visible, vigilant and prepared.”
Chief Turner added that the public should also be mindful its surroundings. Anyone who sees suspicious activity or unattended bags anywhere in the city is encouraged to call 9-1-1 as part of the city’s participation in the “See Something/Say Something” campaign.
Several large-scale events are planned in the city beginning tonight with an Atlanta Hawks game at Philips Arena and an Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field. In an abundance of caution, police presence will be increased around those venues, and APD will be conducting sweeps with bomb-sniffing K-9 units.
Other sports and cultural events continue throughout the week and into the weekend, including a Taylor Swift concert at Philips Arena on Friday night, the Georgia Tech spring football game and fireworks on Friday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium, the Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park, and the Sweetwater 420 Fest in Candler Park (both Friday-Sunday).
Last week, the Atlanta Police Department and Atlanta Fire Rescue Department successfully partnered with a wide range of local, state and federal agencies to monitor events surrounding the Final Four tournament in Atlanta. Leaders from APD and AFRD were joined in the Joint Operations Center with MARTA Police, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority Police, Atlanta Fulton County Emergency Management Agency, GBI, FBI, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and numerous other law enforcement and support agencies.
Some of those operations, such as monitoring of more than 1,200 public and private cameras through the Operation Shield Video Integration Center, remain in place for this week’s events.
“We will continue to collaborate, share information and support each other,” Atlanta Fire Rescue Chief Kelvin Cochran said. “The welfare and safety of our citizens is critical, particularly at difficult moments such as these.”
Each year, the Atlanta Police Department, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and other city agencies take part in a comprehensive security and emergency plan around the annual Peachtree Road Race, run every year on July 4th.
“We have always worked closely with the Atlanta Track Club to make sure that the 60,000 runners and countless spectators lining Peachtree Road have a safe and enjoyable time,” Chief Turner said. “This year, of course, the events at the Boston Marathon will be top of mind. No stone will be left unturned when it comes to security.”
Aviation General Manager Louis Miller noted that the visibility of local and federal agents will increase at Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Officers will be vigilant for suspicious activities and conduct additional screenings. The federal Transportation Security Administration has not, at this time, issued any new directives concerning air travel, Miller noted.
“We always strive to ensure the safety of the traveling public,” Miller said. “It’s also important to offer the peace of mind that comes with extra security and vigilance and we hope to accomplish that in the wake of this tragedy.”
Travelers should plan accordingly for a higher level of curbside vehicle management and a possible increase in random security checks by TSA.
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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @City_of_Atlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed